Public servants must get vaccinated: PSC

PSC Chairman Johnson

Public servants in Vanuatu who have not get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines are instructed to stay off work.

While vaccination is not compulsory, Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Simil Johnson, said PSC as the employer of all government workers, has a responsibility to ensure everyone is protected.

PSC has already informed public servants of this decision through a circular, following the announcement of the two latest border cases.

Chairman Johnson said apart from civil servants, other people or visitors wanting to access the government offices must also be vaccinated.

“The pandemic is affecting people in countries all around the world. It is important for PSC to make this decision for the safety of everyone,” he said.

“Those who have existing medical conditions are required to provide their medical certificates.

“Everybody should be taking responsibility during this crisis. We (PSC) have given two weeks to public servants to comply and after that, we will be reviewing our decision.”

There are around 3,000 permanent employees of PSC across the country, excluding those on contracts.

Responding to concerns that PSC telling civil servants to get vaccinated is against their right, Chairman Johnson said it’s not about taking away rights but, it’s the right thing to do to ensure everyone is safe in this global health crisis.

“Currently, we are operating under a State of Emergency. Sometimes we have to maneuver. You will put other people’s safety at risk if you do not get vaccinated. As leaders, we have to take responsibilities,” he said.

“It’s common sense. People must understand that coronavirus doesn’t respect anyone, it doesn’t respect you as a leader, chief, pastor and even your constitutional right.

“Millions of people are dying around the world because of COVID-19. Look at the situation in our neighboring countries like Papua New Guinea. We need to be protected.”

Apart from getting vaccinated, all government agencies must set up handwashing stations and check for vaccination cards, to ensure all public servants and visitors get vaccinated before entering the premises.

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