After obtaining their first dosage of the Sinopharm vaccine at the Proman supported station, a drive-thru client proudly displays her vaccination record recently.

Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis will meet with representatives of Government, umbrella trade unions and business organisations today to discuss a possible workplace policy on COVID-19 vaccinations for T&T.

Although over one million vaccine doses have been administered in T&T, Robinson-Regis stressed in a release yesterday that having a fully vaccinated workforce presents benefits for both employees and employers.

The Planning Ministry stated that the meeting involves key representatives of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN); the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC).

Umbrella business organisations confirmed are the Employers’ Consultative Association; T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce; T&T Coalition of Service Industries; T&T Group of Professional Associations; American Chamber of Commerce of T&T; T&T Manufacturers’ Association and the Energy Chamber.

The primary intention of the meeting is to engage representative stakeholder groups in dialogue to discover collaborative methods of directly tackling vaccine hesitancy and finding common ground for public safety, especially in the workforce.

Also invited to participate are the Chief Personnel Officer Dr Darryl Dindial, Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh, Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie.

On the benefits presented by a fully vaccinated workforce for both employees and employers, the ministry cited enhanced productivity due to reduced sick days.

“Costs for lost days are also reduced and employees in all industries are also able to engage in steadier modes of contribution to their jobs that improve livelihoods, improve health and increased morale due to limited fears of becoming extremely sick from contracting the COVID-19 virus,” the ministry said.

“Socio-economic benefits involve better physical as well as mental health and well-being, increased earning capacity and greater opportunities for vaccinated service providers to operate freely within the economy, increased return of vaccinated members to the workforce and being fully vaccinated also facilitates all employees to get back to the business of securely providing for their families.”