FLASHBACK – A member of the public is vaccinated against COVID-19 by a healthcare worker in August 2021, at the mass vaccination site at NAPA, which was managed by the Joint Chambers.

The Joint Chambers says they have found the sharp increase in the number of people being vaccinated extremely encouraging since the Prime Minister’s safe zones announcement. The following is a press release from the Joint Chamber

AMCHAM T&T, the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Service Industries, and the Trinidad & Tobago Manufacturers Association (the Joint Chambers) have noted the reports of a sharp increase in the number of people being vaccinated in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement of the introduction of safe zones. This is extremely encouraging news.

In the stakeholder meeting chaired by the Minister of Planning yesterday, the Joint Chambers again expressed our strong support for the safe zone concept and committed to working closely with the Government and other stakeholders to successfully implement this plan.

As acknowledged by all parties, there are still details of the implementation of the safe zone plans, and the associated employment issues, that need to be fully resolved. The Joint Chambers committed to working with all stakeholders to make this a reality.

The Joint Chambers also expressed support, in principle, for the draft workplace covid vaccination policies that had been developed by the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee, which were presented at the meeting by the Ministry of Labour. The Joint Chambers joins with the Trade Union Federations in calling for the “draft policy [to be] finalized, circulated, and tabled for implementation” i as a matter of urgency.

The draft workplace vaccination policy includes proposals for the introduction of additional regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Employers have a duty of care to their employees, customers, and other visitors under the OSH Act. It is therefore imperative that employers are given clear guidance about any specific vaccination requirements that they could reasonably be expected to implement, in response to the specific level of risk that exists in their facilities.

The Joint Chambers reiterates their strong and continued support for vaccinations as the only currently available method to get us out of the covid pandemic without the continued lockdowns, that have been so damaging to the economy, society and mental health