DNA, DPSU and DMA, call on health care workers to set an example by getting vaccinated

Three organizations in Dominica are joining forces to sound a call for healthcare to set an example to the public by getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.

A recent study has shown that only 38% of the staffers at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) are vaccinated and to increase this number,  management has launched an “aggressive vaccination initiative” targeted at all unvaccinated staff.

Implemented with support from the Dominica Medical Association (DMA), Dominica Nursing Association (DNA), the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) the objective is to improve the vaccination status of staff at the hospital, and more specifically, staff directly involved in the direct patient to 63%.

Thomas Letang General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union

Speaking during the launch of the campaign, General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Thomas Letang stressed that although the union like many other unions throughout the Caribbean, is not for mandatory vaccination, they are of the view that it is the responsibility of the health care workers to get vaccinated to safeguard both themselves and the patients they provide care to.

“Our position is that without vaccination, we may not achieve what we want to achieve. So, we fully support and will do anything to promote vaccination. And we are saying that people should make up their mind to get vaccinated and to do it voluntarily,” he said.

According to the union leader, similar to employers, the laws of Dominica also state that employees do have a responsibility to keep the workplace safe and by taking the vaccines they will be doing just that.

He further notes that the advent of COVID-19  is creating an opportunity for each working citizen to make the workplace safe for themselves by simply taking the vaccine.

“You should not have somebody with a gun over your head, you should be able to take that decision, and tell yourself that you’re going to be vaccinated. Because if you as a health worker, you are not, you’ll just be making a mockery of the effort to get the little Tom and Jack and Mary over there, to get vaccinated when we are not,” he stated.

He continued, “so whatever is the reason why some health workers, some health providers are not vaccinated, I believe you should rethink that. Because the advice that you are getting for the vaccination, it’s coming from people like yourself, experts. And as a professional person, you cannot, in this campaign, side with the man on the street, who doesn’t know anything about vaccination.”

Letang went on to question the “sense” in health care workers wanting others to protect themselves, but they are unwilling to take the ultimate defence which he says is vaccination.

“I think we need to put everything which is preventing us from doing it, but that aside, whether it’s religion, whether it’s politics, whatever it is, and we have to tell ourselves, that we’re doing that not only for ourselves, for our colleagues, and for the people who we attend to,” he emphasised.

Mignon Rolle-Shillingford president of the Dominica Nursing Association

Adding her voice to the call, Mignon Rolle-Shillingford president of the largest group of healthcare workers on the island, the DNA  reported that in 2020, Vaccination of the Americas was supposed to be observed in Dominica but due to the COVID-19 the event had to be postponed.

At that ceremony, it was expected that Dominica would have received an award for the highest percentage of vaccination in all of its vaccination programs in the Americas.

“So as a nursing body, we know of the significance of vaccines and we know of the science of vaccines and our very practice is based on the science. And that is why I want to empower and motivate my nursing colleagues to take the vaccine,” she indicated.

She went on to lament the figure from a recent study that revealed that only 27% of the nursing staff -the lowest of all staffers- at the DCFH was vaccinated.

“The very fact that these numbers are very alarming also says something to the public. If we are the ones who bring vaccines to them, we have been leading our vaccination program because we understand the significance of vaccines and how it has eradicated a number of diseases over the years polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria because we understand that science,” Rolle-Shilling said.

The President implored the senior staff and managers to provide correct and credible information that will help the unvaccinated healthcare workers make the best decision.

She further added, “The fact that you have to cure clients who are COVID-19 positive, think about the risk of your family and friends. The possibility of you returning home with the virus and thinking about the long term possible effects it will have on you if you contract COVID-19….take the vaccine.”

Acting president of the DMA Dr Benet Henry

For his part, acting president of the DMA Dr Benet Henry voiced that his association stands in solidarity with the many others calling for vaccination.

“I’m saying that those who are not convinced, equip yourself with the information. You can contact us,  we are here to support you. We are hoping that our doctors can continue to support the general public,” he stated on record.

As further reported by the health profession, the DMA  has made available to the hospital newly graduated physicians, as well as physicians that have been in the private sector to support the initiative of protecting the general public.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-topic

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. WTP
    August 31, 2021

    Letang looks like a real dam a.s with that blue mask pwes covering his face. The nurse self looking like the mask ready to run from her nose. Two moredara!!!

  2. Tell Me
    August 30, 2021

    I am curious. Please tell me how

  3. Ibrahim Brohim
    August 30, 2021

    The vaccine works, I know

    • Red office
      August 31, 2021

      I’m sure it works for you, as it works for all Skerrit supporters. Thanks for your 2 cents worth.

  4. Gary
    August 30, 2021

    Wow, AUTHORITY, I will start by saying what has become of that thing called Conscience, that feeling from within that says do this or shun that. The issue playing out right now before us is Authority vs Conscience, conscience always trumps Authority. Before The Nurses
    are ridiculed , one of the deadliest weapons used in this so-called issue let us have some food for thought http://www.strike-the-root.com/71/davis_m/davis1.html

    • Edward
      August 31, 2021

      Indeed, what has become of that? In particular on election days, what has become of this thing called CONSCIENCE?

      • Gary
        August 31, 2021

        To address your comment, the people conscience it all well and functioning on election day, it is the results of the elections some of us do like or are willing to accept. If you are in this category, I will tell you, examine your conscience, and you will see why you are not satisfied or willing to accept the results. You must not question other people’s conscience, especially to get the results you want or can’t accept.

  5. JP
    August 30, 2021

    Health care workers should have a choice to do as they are told? Individual concern over vaccine safety and efficacy should be subservient to group think? You should not have a gun to your head but you need to rethink you stance against getting the jab? I would hesitate to think that health care workers are taking their cues from the man on the street without the benefit of their profession’s knowledge base. However, the man on the street has a brain too and the ability to make decisions based on facts rather than feelings or beliefs. Overwhelmingly, the information coming from the very proponents of this mass vaccination drive shows that the vaccines do not prevent infection, do not prevent transmission and do not prevent death. As a matter of fact, the very real concern over Antibody Dependent Enhancement seems to be manifesting due to the presence of variants such as the Delta variant. The dire situation in heavily vaccinated countries such as Israel is very instructive.

  6. August 29, 2021

    The same problem with Health Care workers and this corvid-19 vaccination is happening in one of those provinces of Canada. They were out demonstrating against the call for the mandatory vaccine for them.

    One of them said that she was vaccinated, for whatever reason, when she was a child and remembers her ordeal with the side effect of that vaccination.

    She failed to realize that she survived both, the side effect and whatever the vaccine was given to her for, to be a Health Care worker today, for the lives of the people of her community.

    The fear of side effects from the vaccine is one thing, which can only happen based on the health of a person’s immune system–the reason for the vaccine in the first place

    Dominicans, side effects from the corvid-19 vaccine will not kill you, but the infection of the virus can or may do so. How can you tolerate Health Care workers not taking the vaccine; how are they looking out for your safety?

  7. Goldy JB
    August 29, 2021

    So instead of calling on the government to distribute food around the country to help ease the misery that the lockdowns brought these charlatans calling on health care workers to set example? Do you have any programs in place for them if the experimental vaccine harm them? You all need to stop the gaslighting and let people make their own decisions without any form of coercion.

    August 29, 2021

    Some disciplinary action should be taken against those healthcare providers who have not been vaccinated. What kind of message are THEY sending to the rest of the people who are not yet vaccinated? How can THEY educate others? How can THEY be administering something to people they don’t want? If THEY don’t want it, why then give it to others is the question? The solution should be, either They take it or bear the consequences. Employer should be able to mandate and put policies in place to safe guard their establishment.

    • Gary
      August 30, 2021

      “What kind of message are THEY sending to the rest of the people who are not yet vaccinated” Have you not heard the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” well that is what you are advocating for the use of people to be vaccinated, isn’t that also a sheep mentality, wow. When you ask, “How can THEY educate others” why are you putting the onus or obligation on the Nurses. Don’t you think that people in general has an obligation to educate themselves, especially in a crisis, you go inward within yourself to ask questions, seek information, and employ the faculty of reason.

      Do you think that the Nurse’s decision to refuse being vaccinated is an arbitrary rebellion against their Employer, the State. Why do you think that the use of force, fear and intimidation are the best tools to resolve this issue. The moral authority in us as human beings, the conscience, is how respect and our survival has always
      been retained.

    • Ibo France
      August 30, 2021

      You need corporal punishment for the nonsense you often write, polluting this forum. Take your trash to the landfill. It’s
      time for you to start over by revisiting Kindergarten. Go and learn the Alphabet.You can’t even differentiate a ‘b’ from a ‘d’.

  9. We the People
    August 29, 2021

    All you tongue must fall out of all you mouths. Sa kway sot!! Those vaccinated people are spreading COVID like wild fire.

    Oh and Mr. Letang keep this up and we’ll vaccinate PSU!

  10. August 28, 2021

    “Letang went on to question the “sense” in health care workers wanting others to protect themselves, but they are unwilling to take the ultimate defence which he says is vaccination”.

    Mr Letang Sir, I was thinking the same thing. Where is the sense in those people, doing a profession for the sake of the health of the public and there is a deadly virus all over the place, but they are slack in immunizing themselves against that virus, how do they plan to protect sick patients from becoming infected by this virus?

    Senseless! I have to say that this slackness is extremely senseless coming from those who should know better–to encourage the public to follow their footstep.

    And I am with you here: “Vaccination is the ultimate defence” against this coronavirus, which has come to kill everyone in its path. If only Dominicans would learn to think clearly–especially people like healthcare workers.

    • Ibo France
      August 30, 2021

      Long, boring, meandering inanity as usual. You resonate with no one. Can’t you see? Go and enjoy the sunset years of your life in incognito.

  11. Uno France
    August 28, 2021

    The DPSU in particular should be advocating for a financial package for its members. These three organizations are three Inconsequential pieces of abbreviations.

    Grow a spine and strongly advocate for a financial package for all workers not only the vaccine. How wise is it to take the vaccine on an empty stomach?

    • August 30, 2021

      @Uno France, the DPSU is trying to tell its members that there would be no need for a financial package if they were all vaccinated against the coronavirus–which is the reason for the lockdown, preventing them from earning their wages–if that is what you are saying.

      Money does not rain from the sky, it comes through production and sales by different establishments. If the Government must stop production to avoid the spread of this deadly virus–because you people will not take the vaccination, how do you expect them to get the financial resource for whatever package you are asking for?

      Now think about that!

  12. Bwa-Banday
    August 28, 2021

    I support the call here totally. Dcans need to ignore the nay sayers and go take the jab. Unless there is a medical reason everyone should do so. How many deaths will it take for the Dictator to mandate it for all government employees? From Captain down to dish washer. We are a small island state and unless we get rid of the me, me, me attitude we will never get anywhere.

    Yes, we are too selfish and only care about ourselves hence the reason we languish economically, politically, and health wise. Shame on those who refuse to be vaccinated. But in the meantime I want the same people advocating here to go on radio and DNO and tell the Dictator WE need a STIMULUS or else kai-poole-kwahzay!

  13. Wake Up
    August 28, 2021

    The latest data shows that vaccinated are 69% as likely to have infectious virus transmission, vs 80% in unvaccinated, for the first 6 days. They have the same viral load as unvaccinated. This would mean unvaccinated nurses who are taking regular tests would be more likely to know they are positive, and able to better prevent passing on the virus. A vaccinated nurse with no symptoms who is not getting tested, is very likely to pass on the virus in the first 6 days she has it. Data: shorturl.at/ekDH9

    Let people take the vaccine if they feel it will protect themselves. Since it doesn’t stop transmission, stop forcing people, and let people choose their own best course of action for their health.

  14. Channel 1
    August 28, 2021

    {He continued, “so whatever is the reason why some health workers, some health providers are not vaccinated, I believe you should rethink that. Because the advice that you are getting for the vaccination, it’s coming from people like yourself, experts.}

    The utter arrogance, absurdity & condescending utterances of some of these pro-vaccines propagandists is sickening. So those experts & persons who are WISELY CAUTIOUS by not taking these Covid vaccines are ones who are definitely wrong eh.

    {According to the union leader, similar to employers, the laws of Dominica also state that employees do have a responsibility to keep the workplace safe and by taking the vaccines they will be doing just that.}

    How can a vaccine – which does not prevent one from catching or transmitting Covid & for which its protection against serious illness or death is still validly debatable – contribute to workplace safety? Who these people think they fooling with their logical fallacies nuh.

  15. Just The Facts
    August 28, 2021

    Another opportunity for myth-busting:

    Myth#2: All opinions are equal when it comes to healthcare professionals and the vaccine, i.e. if nurses refuse the vaccine or a pharmacy worker cannot say what’s in the vial, it proves that doctors are wrong to recommend vaccination.

    Response: Most healthcare workers are only trained to the extent required by their profession. Nurses can tell you what the doctor diagnosed (some can also diagnose straightforward conditions), and what is prescribed. There is a limit to nurses’ knowledge of the body processes involved in your disease/treatment at the level of organs, cells, biological substances and biochemical reactions. That’s simply because their job does not require the same intimate knowledge of the human body that a doctor needs. The same is true of pharmacists, whose in-depth knowledge involves how drugs work, what their side effects are, how much is too much etc. Note that not every pharmacy worker is a trained pharmacist.


  16. Lin clown
    August 28, 2021

    Excellent,excellent,excellent.I never liked Letang,now I am falling in love with the guy for those excellent words.Now wait for BLOWS from those UWP,JACKDONK.There is this UWP bus driver from Mahaut,everyday Skerrit this and Skerrit that,finally he was tested and found to be positive.The overeducated,knowall bus driver is now in Portsmouth.These are the people calling for stimulus package and compensation.27% of Nursing staff vaccinated, a big shame these are the people we expect to LEAD the way.FRANCISCO-DOGALISM at its best.

    • Clown II
      August 30, 2021

      Lol. You are really a clown. You speak of the bus driver – fine. Then talk about the vaccinated PS in the PM office that still got COVID too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I hope by now that you got the memo that says VACCINATED PEOPLE GETTING AND SPREADING COVID boss. My friend got it from a fully vaccinated co worker.

    • Gary
      August 30, 2021

      Just an observation, are you falling in love with MR. Letang because he goes along with supporting the partisan machinery you support, just curious.

      • August 31, 2021

        Gary, I don’t understand your question to Lin Clown. Your mention of the “partisan machinery” causes me to wonder what is your toll about this “coronavirus vaccination” are you for it or against it?

        And what is partisan about Mr. Letang supporting the call for the vaccination against that virus? I am with him here, not because I like him, but because he is on the side of truth–as my mind reveals it to me and I know that I am right!

    • August 30, 2021

      Lin Clown, you make me laugh. I don’t like Letang either, but he spoke on my side pertaining to this coronavirus, he is right on!

      But let us not get too excited about falling in love with him, that is too risky. It is true that now he is up for Dominicans on the whole pertaining to this coronavirus–I don’t see anything political about his concerns.

      But let us not put aside, how easily he can stand against the Government which we support, okay!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available