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Top public servants face job loss over vaccination

By EDDIE OSIFELO

SOME high-profile public servants in the government are expected to lose their jobs if they do not get their vaccinations by the end of this month.

This is part of the ‘No Jab, No Policy’ announced by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare since 31st August 2021.

The policy covers any employee of the national or provincial governments as well as state owned enterprises.

Since late last year, most public servants who refused to get their jabs have received half pay and are expected to be terminated from their jobs if they do not get their vaccination by the end of January.

Reports reaching Island Sun say the Ministry of Culture and Tourism permanent secretary, Andrew Nihopara, Chairman of Leadership Code Commission, Solomon Kalu, Director of National Training Unit Curtis Kalu are among the officials.

Kalu, who held the position for two terms from 2016-2019 and 2020 to 2022, said he cannot comment at this stage as the Nominating Committee is still to make their decision.

He said his contract should be completed by the end of this year.

However, Island Sun understands LCC has already advertised the post in the media.

Furthermore, PS Nihopora said he still has time to get his vaccination.

He will make his decision before the deadline this month whether to take the vaccination or not.

In the meantime, Mrs Kalu reportedly tendered her resignation because she refused to be vaccinated.

Despite her resignation, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) still gave her time to reconsider her decision.

PM Sogavare said after eight months of vaccination, the health ministry has administered a total of 267, 338 doses of COVID-19 vaccines both for Astra Zaneca and Sinopharm vaccines and includes first and second doses.

This represents only 32 percent of the total doses they must give to fully vaccinate the 414,327 eligible adults in Solomon Islands which is 828,654 doses.

Currently, about 73,540 people are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is 17.7 percent of the total eligible population.

About 120,258 people, or 29 percent, have had their first doses and are encourage to come get their 2nd doses.

The no jab, no job rules are now applicable in many parts of the world as countries continue to fight against COVID-19.

These measures extend to ‘vaccine passports’ for international travel, aged-care homes, hospitals, and large events.

While these measures received some resistance, compliance is generally high.


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