Sun | Jun 20, 2021

JDF makes about-turn on vaccination indemnity

Published:Monday | March 15, 2021 | 9:53 AM
The JDF says this declaration will allow the force to consider the duties and responsibilities of these individuals in an effort to limit their exposure and manage the safety of all members with a high risk of exposure.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) says members have the option to make a declaration on whether they will take the COVID-19 vaccine instead of a requirement to indemnify the army.

The about-turn came hours after the JDF indicated that service members who do not take the vaccine would have to waive liability to the army.

“Notwithstanding the example set by the CDS (Chief of Defence Staff), no member of the force is ordered to take the vaccine. However, service members who choose not to take the vaccine will need to indemnify the JDF from all responsibilities which directly result from their failure to be inoculated," the release from the JDF stated yesterday afternoon.

Late last night, the army issue a subsequent media release stating that the JDF respects the individual position of its members and so, no member of the force is ordered to take the vaccine.

The force, however, says it now requires a declaration, as against indemnification, from its members who do not wish to be vaccinated.

The JDF says this declaration will allow the force to consider the duties and responsibilities of these individuals in an effort to limit their exposure and manage the safety of all members with a high risk of exposure.

This is necessary as the JDF moves to protect its service members and others as they go about their duties, the army noted.

The JDF adds that there will be no punitive or disciplinary action taken against any member who chooses not to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, the JDF indicated that since the government’s vaccination programme began last Wednesday, a total of 1,500 service members have been vaccinated so far.

It stated that of those persons, just about 3% of this number have presented to its Health Services Corps with any evidence of the known and anticipated side effects of the vaccine.

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