Compulsory vaccination for certain workers under the Public Health Amendment Act is expected soon.
“We (Vanuatu) might be transitioning to a provision in the Public Health Act called Declaration of a Public Health Emergency,” said the Director of Public Health, Len Tarivonda.
“The Public Health Act was amended in Parliament this year, to better address the pandemic. When the pandemic started, the world ‘pandemic’ was not in our Public Health Act, so the NDMO Act was used.
“Now that the State Law has advised that given this provision in the Public Health Act, the Health Minister has power to make a Public Health Emergency Declaration, we might transition out of the State of Emergency (SoE) very soon.
“This would mean the country can operate just on the Public Health Act.
“There is enough power in the Act to keep maintaining border closure and travel restrictions.
“Once a declaration is done, we can issue regulatory orders and make vaccination mandatory.
“We will be making vaccination mandatory for specific groups of workers, those who earn a living by working in government or private companies.
“Employers have a duty of care for their workers. We cannot allow one or two to be a risk to others. Vaccination is a common good.”