Jamaica: Hoteliers ready to cover COVID vaccine costs for staff

By Loop News,

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Clifton Reader says several local hotels are prepared to cover the costs of COVID-19 vaccines for their staff.

“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 focussed on the thousands of team members in the hospitality and tourism industry, many of whom are breadwinners for their families and pillars of their communities,” Reader said.

Reader, however, stressed that it would not be mandatory for staff members to be vaccinated.

He said the JHTA wants to ease the financial burden on the government who had promised free vaccines to all citizens.

Noting the Minister of Health’s recent reports on Jamaica’s challenges in accessing COVID-19 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.”

Jamaica will receive its first doses of the vaccines, costing some $3 billion, from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility on April 21.

Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said 292,399 doses of the vaccines, which is enough to inoculate five per cent of the population, will be delivered in April.

He said healthcare workers; persons 60 and over; politicians, including those serving at the local government level; members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force; correctional officers; customs and immigration officers; inmates; and persons living in infirmaries are first in line to be vaccinated. This group numbers some 440,000 persons.

Jamaica is scheduled to receive additional doses of vaccines on July 21 and December 21. By the end of the year, 16 per cent of the population should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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