The T&T Defence Force (TTDF) has advised that a message circulating on social media and highlighted by mainstream media titled COMMAND GUIDANCE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF THE VACCINATION PROCESS is not the Official position of its Command.
On Tuesday, as the ‘memo’ circulated, soldiers expressed concern that they would be forced to take the Astrazeneca vaccine.
However, in a media release, the TTDF said, “This WhatsApp message was composed by a subordinate officer and circulated without the authorisation of the Command of the Force.”
It added that the Defence Force Headquarters “has not and will not publish or authorise the publication of any document or order which contravenes the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The TTDF also pointed out that all its decisions and policies are and will be in conformity with the laws of T&T and any additional guidance provided by arms of the Government such as the Ministry of Health as it relates to COVID-19.
The Defence Force explained that it has been at the forefront of the daily fight against the pandemic as its members are called upon to provide assistance to civil authorities in the transport of persons to, and security of, quarantine facilities, apart from our regular military duties that include interagency patrols with the T&T Police Service throughout T&T and in border security where its members often interact with illegal and irregular migrants.
It said as a responsible organisation that finds itself in the fight against this pandemic on a daily basis, it is morally obligated to provide its members with the best possible protection to continue fulfilling its mandated roles.
The Defence Force said based on information provided by the Ministry of Health its personnel has been advised that the vaccine is an additional layer of protection from COVID-19.