Mon | Sep 20, 2021

Hundreds of Wisynco employees opt for COVID-19 vaccines

Published:Friday | September 10, 2021 | 12:05 AM
A Wisynco employee (right) receives his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday at the company’s Lakes Pen headquarters in St Catherine. With logistical assistance from the PSOJ’s Private Sector Vaccine Initiative, Wisynco underwrote the costs for the vaccinat
A Wisynco employee (right) receives his COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday at the company’s Lakes Pen headquarters in St Catherine. With logistical assistance from the PSOJ’s Private Sector Vaccine Initiative, Wisynco underwrote the costs for the vaccination of almost 400 of its team members who opted to take the jab. The Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines were administered on the day by health workers from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

CLOSE TO 400 Wisynco employees jumped at the opportunity to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease during a WATA Vaccination Drive at Wisynco’s Lakes Pen headquarters in St Catherine on Tuesday. The initiative was executed as a collaborative effort between Wisynco and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), led by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica’s (PSOJ) Private Sector Vaccine Initiative (PSVI) that has now vaccinated well over 5,000 workers since July.

On the day, Chief Executive Officer of Wisynco Andrew Mahfood made a call for Wisynco employees and Jamaicans at large to take the vaccine.

“Our team members are our family and we don’t want to see our family members, much less other Jamaicans, in the hospital. So please, make that decision to get vaccinated, and come out and get vaccinated wherever you can,” urged Mahfood.

The CEO asserted, “We’ve seen the wrath of this virus and we felt that as a company, we had to step forward for our team members. What we really want to do, is prevent them (team members) from having to get admitted to hospital. We want to encourage other private-sector companies to continue this drive, so we can help get as many Jamaicans vaccinated as we can.”

The AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were made available on the day. Invitations to participate in the drive were extended to Wisynco team members and their families, as well as other organisations. These were, namely, Food For The Poor, Jamaica Producers and Sherwin-Williams Jamaica.

Over the last year, Wisynco’s COVID Response Team has assisted with COVID-19 testing for its team members, medical emergencies and other related support, counselling, care packages, protocol observance and implementation.

According to Annette Morrison, group head of people and internal communication, and lead for the Wisynco COVID Response Team, formed in early 2020 in response to the pandemic, the vaccination drive was another move to help Wisynco’s team members to keep safe.

“As soon as we heard about the PSVI initiative, we were involved immediately. We got some feedback and realised that persons would have felt more comfortable being on-site for this activity because they are right here at home. What is important is really for our team members, who we want to remain safe, to get vaccinated,” shared Morrison.

Wisynco is hoping to increase the vaccination uptake when it hosts another vaccination drive in the coming weeks for its team, including contractors, temporary employees, and their family members. Neighbouring businesses and their staff who participated in Tuesday’s drive will also be invited.

The food and beverage manufacturer continues to lend support on a national level through the MOHW COVID-19 vaccination blitz sites across the island with the provision of WATA and CranWATA to aid the hydration of participants. The company has also provided equipment such as tents, coolers, tables, and medical innovation – most notably, the fabrication of hundreds of polyethylene terephthalate bottles to make medical spacers, which have been donated to the Southeast Regional Health Authority, through the Kingston Public Hospital.