Wed | May 5, 2021

JHTA: Hoteliers ready to pay for COVID vaccine for staff

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2021 | 5:05 PM
Reader: We have a growing list of members committed to partnering with the Government in the drive to get as many persons vaccinated as possible.

Several Jamaican hotels have signed on to a programme being spearheaded by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), which will see them collaborating with the Government of Jamaica to pay for COVID-19 vaccines.

Clifton Reader, president of the JHTA, advised the Government of the readiness of several member hotels to fund vaccines for their staff on a voluntary basis. 

READ: Jamaica looks to Cuba, India, China for more COVID vaccines

“We have a growing list of members committed to partnering with the Government in the drive to get as many persons vaccinated as possible. We are of course, particularly focused on the thousands of team members in the hospitality and tourism industry, many of whom are bread winners for their families and pillars of their communities. Our aim is to purchase and make the vaccines available to those who wish to take it,” Reader said. 

He reiterated that it would not be mandatory for staff members to be vaccinated.

Noting Health Minister Dr Chris Tufton's recent reports on Jamaica’s challenges in accessing COVID vaccines due to limited availability from approved sources, Reader said "the JHTA hopes that new sources will become accessible to us soon and with our private sector assistance, Jamaica will have a significantly increased supply of vaccines.” 

The Government has targeted some 480,000 Jamaicans (16 per cent) to be vaccinated in 2021 under the COVAX Facility.

“The idea is to see to what extent any sort of government-to-government arrangement would allow us access to some of their vaccines coming out of those countries where manufacturing takes place,” Tufton told The Gleaner recently.

The minister said that the Government would be seeking to obtain safe vaccines from China, India and Cuba to protect the population from the virus.

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