President's House and Office of the President.
CAMILLE McEACHNIE

Not all personnel in close contact with 62-year-old President Paula-Mae Weekes and her mother, 92-year-old Phyllis Weekes, are vaccinated.

This is according to the President’s Communications Adviser, Cheryl Lalla.

Speaking with Guardian Media after it was reported the President asked for unvaccinated personnel to be rostered out of her household, and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he too took a similar stance, Lalla noted there is a need to clear some misconceptions.

“There are several people on the President’s close protection detail who have had COVID, and as such, are ineligible for the vaccine at the moment. No one has asked that they be rotated out and replaced with vaccinated personnel,” Lalla told Guardian Media on July 22.

She added: “Even if the officers received the first dose of vaccine, they remained as part of the President’s security detail.”

She said when the decision was taken that people in close contact with the President had to be vaccinated, arrangements were made to vaccinate those interested in doing so.

“Those people who aren’t vaccinated and who don’t want to be vaccinated…were asked to be rotated back to whatever job they used to do before they came to the office of the President,” Lalla also said.

“The decision was taken not just to protect the President and her mother, but staff as well.” Lalla said.

The President and her mother received their first and second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine on April 6 and June 7, respectively.

In September 2020, COVID-19 touched President’s House as her then aide-de-camp and others, tested positive for the disease.