Two companies issue COVID-19 vaccine mandate while PM hints at mandatory vaccination

Employees at two companies in Dominica have been informed that come October 15, 2021, they will be required to present proof of partial or full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test, to continue working at those companies.

In a letter dated Wednesday, September 29, 2021, telecommunications giant Digicel informed its staff that in a bid to “safeguard the health of our organization, people and customers”, employees should submit their vaccination cards to its Human Resources (HR) department by close of business on October 15.

According to the letter bearing the signature of Olivier Coughlan, Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Caribbean and Central American region,  if an employee is unvaccinated, they will be required to submit a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result taken in the preceding 72 hours every two weeks to the HR.

The company further said that in the new mandate which will affect more than 4,000 Digicel employees local, regionally and internationally, the test will be done at the employee’s expense and the antigen test will not be accepted.

The letter stated that employees who are unable to provide a current PCR test and are unable to attend work for this reason, must take the days as unpaid leave or they can choose to use them as vacation days if available.

The company made it clear that no employee will be permitted to work remotely to avoid taking the vaccine or PCR test.

Exemption from this new policy will only be granted for medical reasons, however, the employee must present a doctor’s report detailing why they are unable to take the vaccine, the company said.

Digicel has said that it is aware of the legal positions in some markets and will therefore deal with the issue on a ‘case by case basis.

Dominica News Online (DNO) has also received a similar letter sent to employees of RDR Inc. a local mining company.

In that letter signed by managing director Roger William, employees have been informed that they “must be fully (in some cases partially ) vaccinated by Friday, October 15, 2021.”

The notice, dated September 28 2021, goes on to state that during such period, all employees must present proof of vaccination status to the administrative office for their employee file records.

Unvaccinated employees have been told that they must present a negative PCR/antigen test before beginning work every Monday morning.

Staffers who fail to adhere to these measures have been cautioned that they will not be allowed to enter the compound.

DNO attempted to speak with the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF) to try to ascertain how many companies have implemented a vaccination mandate locally but our efforts have so been unsuccessful.

However, in a recent statement, the DEF Board of Governors expressed its support for vaccination as “the best inoculation defence we [currently] have against the virus” and recommended that employers and their employees avail themselves of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, despite several pronouncements in the past that vaccination will not be made mandatory in Dominica, prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit may have had a change of heart as borne out by a statement which he made on local media recently.

Speaking on the Heng last week, Skerrit stated, “While the government’s position is no mandatory vaccination for this time, this can change in the future; so don’t get comforted by the view that Skerritt says no mandatory vaccine; no mandatory vaccine for now, but that can change.”

Based on the last update presented as of October 2, 2021, a total number of 21729 people have received  two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while 25807 have taken one dose.

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48 Comments

  1. Jonathan Y St Jean
    October 6, 2021

    I’m sure that the deniers and hesitant unvaccinated people in Dominca used to trust and rely on their doctors for advice and guidance dealing with their health issues. There wasn’t much argument as to who knew best. Fast forward to 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic and all of a sudden the tables have turned and these folks are now refusing to consult with their doctors and are even arguing with the trusted doctors. They have become overnight professional medical experts, making asinine objections to science and things they don’t fully understand all in the name of ideology and rights. They sound like developing children ages about two years old who have just discovered the power of the word “no”. Can we all just go back to trusting our doctors for advice on medical issues? Nothing has changed except the ideology of rights.

    • St Jean
      October 22, 2021

      Most concerned people look up the side effects of the prescribed medication that their trusted doctors offer.
      Most people weigh the side effects against the benefits and decide to take prescriptions or not.

      Chemo (kill yours cells before cancer kills you) or no chemo (die at some point)

      Vaccine (unknown benefits or side effect) or no vaccine (unclear benefits or side effects.

      Many doctors however accept that the human body is the most effect healer of the human body. Every other medicine attempt to imitate what the human body does.

  2. Mark
    October 6, 2021

    My question to all those folks who claim to be so knowledgeable about the vaccine because they’ve done all this reading and research is, do you even understand what you’ve read? What about the credibility of those sites you visited? Most of those persons are themselves vaccinated and are just playing games (political) with your minds. Has anyone bothered to find out why they took the vaccine in the first place but are only now talking about rights and freedoms? Don’t fall into this trap. If in doubt, consult your physician for guidance but don’t rely on folks who only have their hidden agendas.
    We all have rights as individuals, the right to take or not to take the vaccine but keep in mind, companies also have rights and they and they alone set the company policies. Also, there are consequences for not adhering to company policies so please consider your actions before you make a decision.
    Take the vaccine and live.

    • October 6, 2021

      Are you aware that the vaccine does not prevent the transmission of the virus it also does not prevent you from getting sick. Many fully vaccinated persons have died. We will only be following a failed fashion.

  3. October 6, 2021

    We just have to boycott those companies.

  4. martin
    October 6, 2021

    So those companies can not accept money from their unvaccinated customers….
    This is super mass control coming.
    People, wake up….
    That injection kills people massively around the world.
    what a shame on those companies.

  5. Ibo France
    October 5, 2021

    Coming soon! This ultimatum by Digicell is a trial balloon to test the reaction of Dominicans. Don’t be surprised when Gaston’s poodle goes around barking orders of mandatory vaccination of all public servants.

    Only Mia Mottley in the Lesser Antilles is standing her ground of no mandatory vaccination. The other ‘leaders’ remind of a neighbourhood of dogs where one dog barks and the others follow.

  6. Remember this
    October 5, 2021

    Friendly reminder that companies do *not* care about you as an individual. You are just a means to make them money. So if you go and put substance in your body for their sake, they can turn around and fire you the same day, for any reason (sometimes no reason) without a look over their shoulder. And worse, if the vaccine mess you up, that not their problem either. They’ll even silence you. Okay

  7. Mark
    October 5, 2021

    That’s great news, Dissident. You’re one of the more fortunate individuals with readily available employment. I believe this is just the beginning of things to come so get ready for other companies implementing similar policies.
    There is undisputable science and data which shows that vaccines are safe therefore I support the companies 100% for making the vaccine mandatory.
    Employees who do not abide by company policy should be required to provide a negative test at their own expense twice monthly or be fired. We just had 4 major airlines in the US, United, Alaska, American and Jet Blue announce mandatory vaccination. United has already terminated some 600 of their employees who refused the vaccine. Our local businesses should follow their lead and make that tough decision. No amount of threats of civil disobedience should discourage them from adopting this mandatory policy.
    These rules are not being implemented to punish anyone but they are for the greater good of the population.

  8. Take it
    October 5, 2021

    These are the days…we are back to massa days…u cant oppose…take it or lost your job…like they so love you…but just a minor mistake and see how they will fire you.. .believe me skerro is sending his acolyte first those companies and he behind in sheep clothe…but dominican are watching your catch a vote tactics….be careful… most of those people who are doing that to poor people making them loose their jobs…cannot pronounce the word God….farless…their money is their God….

  9. AJ
    October 5, 2021

    I can’t understand some people, so is only UWP people that are unvaccinated 🤦‍♂️

  10. Mr. Nicholas
    October 5, 2021

    WELL……That means more money for his Brother at PH Williams.. I always liked Daryl better anyways. and to think I was about to pen a letter recommending to the board that we switch our entire network over to Digicel…I guess that wont be happening now. Oh well nothing lost on my part….

  11. Lin clown
    October 5, 2021

    If you are not taking the vaccine DON’T come to work.We will get people who are fully vaccinated to work.Stay home let the LAZY UWP like Dr Tyrone BLESSINGS Anthony,LOFTUS $60,000 Durand and % feed you.I once heard a stupid UWP supporter say”De BOSS WANT TO PLAY BOSS”.If you want to hear stupidness,listen to supporters of UWP GISSIP,or read comments from RandyX,Francisco-DOGS,Views,IBO and Bwa big long useless comments only idiots understand.

    • Ibo France
      October 6, 2021

      As usual, just another crab-like comment coming from someone who survives on instincts, no brain. These are the kind of supporters DLP now attracts. Even though they are being taken to the slaughter house, they follow their leader to this house of death, smiling and cheering him on to their demise.

  12. dissident
    October 5, 2021

    i can’t wait to walk out on my employer…..i already have other offers for employment!!!
    i reserve dat right!
    Skerrit can’t deny me my bread!!!!!!!
    as for dat employer on de west coast dere…….i couldn’t expect better from mister…..sounds just like him!!!!!
    i also choose where i spend my $$$$$$$
    Skerrit can’t mandate dat!!!!!!!

    • Yes we can
      October 5, 2021

      AUTHORITY!!!

      Yes he does have the power to mandate the Vaccine………I am certain.

    • AUTHORITY
      October 5, 2021

      We live in a heartless world as soon as you walk out on your employer ther are 100 replacements and more qualified. They will do your job for less money. Look and you will see. You will not be missed. DISSIDENT

      • dissident
        October 6, 2021

        I suspect you want me to lose out!
        It doh have 100 people waiting for de job I do.
        I don’t work for a local company…. they are the ones trying to find me for employment!!!!
        I can continue in my lane with no regrets boss!!!!!
        I’m not looking for job from all you!!!
        My employer has no vaccine policy hold on me!!!!!
        Am I one of the lucky ones?
        Whomever de vaccine policy hold down that’s for dem!!!
        You can take de vaccine…. I’m not against you taking it…….I won’t be forced into anything!!!!!

    • Righteous
      October 5, 2021

      @Dissident, Why wait? Take the other offers. Obviously you have not entertained the other offers because they are not better than your current situation. You have the right to refuse the vaccine, but the company also have the right to fire you for violating their policy. Case closed.

      One Love Dominicans #OLD767

    • D/can to d bone
      October 5, 2021

      If skerrit tell them to jump off the cliff they will all do it. We bave the right to decide what goes into iur bodies a a. They have tjeir agender. Skerrit getting his share so he is doing what ghey ask him to do. But i have my choice i will survive i trust In God he alone i trustt not man. Since when they care that they want to prevent de world from getting sick eh. I agree with you 100% tjose peopñe in power care no sh&*t but their pocket. See how fast Def change their tongue…seems skerrit talk to him. Money talking. But i will survive

    • VereTere
      October 6, 2021

      All you finally stand up against that tyrant? It took a long time!

  13. Hahahahaha
    October 5, 2021

    It do damn rite.
    Go get allu damn jab.
    N I would like the government to know there are ppl paying for vaccine cards, put a hefty fine on those who give and get those cards.

  14. nan
    October 5, 2021

    Seriously! What next? Will paying customers come under those rules?

  15. Aa
    October 5, 2021

    Now when they force the employees to take it and the same employees say that the customers must be vaccinated to enter, we the customers will change to Flow. Plain and simple. Who loses??

  16. Ibo France
    October 5, 2021

    A person has an inalienable right to decide what foreign substance enters his body. If dishonest and corrupt politicians and their lackeys are allowed to decide this most personal decision for us, we are going down a slippery slope. What’s next? No children for low income women.

    Roosevelt Skerrit solemnly pontificated no mandatory vaccination for Dominicans. Now he is wobbling like a bad tyre on a speeding car. Anything Gaston does Skerrit, like a domesticated parrot, repeats and follows.

    Skerrit has never been a friend of the truth. His promises are like vapour. They disappear in thin air.

    People have to hit Digicel where it hurts most. I don’t patronize that foreign, predatory company and never will.

    • Woi Look It
      October 5, 2021

      Digicel put food on the table and a roof over our heads. We thank God for them. Dominica don’t have too much of a choice when comes to jobs. We suffer to find a job. They need more industries or farming, We will hurt if Digicel evacuate.

    • October 5, 2021

      Ibo France, I read on one of your posts where you said that you are fully vaccinated, and yet you keep discouraging Dominicans from taking the vaccine.

      How can you be so vile against everything that is for the better, just because you want to hit against the Government–especially the Prime Minister?

      • Ibo France
        October 6, 2021

        The Devil is a Liar.

        If you can bring the incontrovertible evidence that I’ve ever once dissuaded anyone not to take the vaccine I’ll eat your shoes and worship you for the rest of my life.

        I said and would forever maintain that each person has the God-given right to determine for him/herself what foreign substance goes into his/her blood stream.

        I expect lies and falsehoods from you as you are a malleable and devout apprentice of Skerrit, the universe most notorious LIAR. Get Thee behind me SATAN.

    • October 6, 2021

      Why are you so political? You bring everything into politics. Why is that so? Getting vaccinated is the best defense yet in the fight against the corona virus. You are so political that you said interned instead of interred. Why do you hate the PM so much? Does he owe you or your siblings something that you never received? Does Skerrit owe you a job and you never got it? You spend all of your time on DNO. Don’t you have anything better to do with your life? Is life too boring for you? Are you as wicked as Jezebel? Skerrit does not care a hoot about you. As far as he is concerned, you are a nonentity. Stop spewing refuse on DNO on a daily basis. Learn how to spell and pronounce words properly.

  17. Mark
    October 5, 2021

    I commend Digicel and RDR Inc on this bold move. PM should immediately follow the lead of those two companies and institute mandatory vaccination in the public sector.
    It is high time to start taking this virus seriously. The country will never be fully operational once there is a significant amount of infection on island.
    Take the vaccine and live.

    • make it make sense
      October 5, 2021

      The vaccine will not stop the virus either. If that was the case then Israel wouldn’t be in the disaster they experiencing right now. You cannot vaccinate away a respiratory illness in the midst of a pandemic and especially not with a vaccine that gives you antibodies against only a single part of the virus (the spike protein) instead of natural immunity which helps you fight the virus itself. All those people who took the first shot (or two) are going to have to take boosters soon because their so called immunity wanes after a few months. Meanwhile Pfizer is still collecting samples and doing tests to find out why so many young people who took the vaccine are suffering from heart problems.

      Cold season coming soon. When the hospitals start to fill up with all those vaccinated people lets see what you all have to say.

      ADMIN: While COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths increased in Israel with over 70% of the targeted population being vaccinated, recent data from the country shows a decline in those same statistics.

      The data is still coming in and there is much to learn. We encourage everyone to read and examine the data and the science behind it before coming to a conclusion: https://ourworldindata.org/vaccination-israel-impact

    • My mouth
      October 5, 2021

      Serve Christ and live. Whe you take the vaccine is skerrit u serving..skerrit doh care about us make him fool allu, margee all sort. Thise pastors self that run and take it, shiw us now what allu have been preaching God is our healer we trust in God.. now see them they fraid. Tjeir trust is.in vaccine smh

    • Hi People
      October 5, 2021

      Mark does this world belong to you, Digicel, and or RDR. So we have no democracy? Papa Jehovah is watching over us. Any forced thing is demonic yes I say demonic. God has given man free will. A person has an inalienable right according to Ibo France to decide what foreign substance enters his or her body.

      What demonic story that?? When will you who knows nothing, read nothing and just jump ship, even want to control people. What is so much about a vaccine when the Spanish flu was spread by a vaccine to soldiers who went abroad and spread the virus. Who wants to make money on the stock exchange but all the big Pharm.

      Now listen and answer me – how many drugs have been recalled because of adverse effects. http://www.drugwatch.com/fda/recalls/.
      So what makes these mRNA vaccines safe and of course, people have to question. Then all you saying everything is a conspiracy but those who manufacture don’t take it.

      Your homework to do people. Go research. Open your eyes

    • Nikisha
      October 6, 2021

      Just because persons refuse to take the vaccine doesn’t mean that they don’t take the virus seriously. Every human being has the rights to do what they think is right for them that’s called “Free Will”. Know your rights people and stand for them.

  18. Channel 1
    October 5, 2021

    Folks, more & more it appears this Covid vaccine push has absolutely nothing to do with real science okay.

    In Israel at this time, to be fully vaccinated means to have 3 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In the US & UK for now, to be fully vaccinated means to get 2 doses of Pfizer etc (except Johnson & Johnson vaccine – 1 dose).

    All you see where the farce in this thing is. To be fully vaccinated all depends on what the government in your area says is to be fully vaccinated. Shifting goalposts.

    How can a ‘medication’ which clearly does not assure those who took it of certain protection from infection nor transmission of Covid to others & for which the debate about protection from serious illness & death is still ongoing contribute to workplace health and safety?

    SOMETHING ELSE other than genuine health science is driving these actions.

    Lord Jesus, we ask for a spectacular intervention from your hands against these wannabe ‘Nebuchadnezzars’ of this age. Thanks.

    • make it make sense
      October 5, 2021

      It’s all political. When the president that we didn’t like was in office (in the US) it was a crazy idea to think that you could develop a vaccine in less than a year. Now that the president we like is in office then you are a conspiracy theorist and a science denier to question how a vaccine could be developed and tested for long term effects in such a short time. Nothing in the science has changed since then. It’s the same science and the same people making the vaccines.

    • Poli Sci
      October 5, 2021

      You sound so intelligent but what you are saying makes no sense. This is a mutating virus, therefore the immunization has to change. Dominica economic outlook will suffer because of the low percentage of persons taking the vaccine. Ignorance is the sole reason for people not taking the vaccine not no “inalienable right” nonsense.

      • Gary
        October 7, 2021

        You said that this is a mutating virus, have you not ask yourself well what is the cause of the mutation. Do think that the mutation of the virus just happens out of thin air, don’t you think there is an explanation and a reason for the virus mutating. Why do you put the onus of ignorance on people for not taking the Vaccine. When you say “Dominica economic outlook will suffer because of the low percentage of persons taking the vaccine” Is this a fact or something of your imagination. As I’m writing this comment, the economic activity of Dominica is on going, isn’t it, now as I’m writing his comment also ain’t there people who are denied employment because of their decision not to be vaccinated, they are shut out of this economic activity, now their employer, does his business cease to operate no, the business still continues to operate and contribute to the economic activity of the Country. The victims of this madness are the unvaccinated,

  19. Floyd
    October 5, 2021

    Ego unleashed, civil unrest the inevitable outcome. And how will that play out for the broken tourism sector ? This guy is a clueless, short-sighted narcissist and a danger to the nation.

    • Ibo France
      October 5, 2021

      That’s my thoughts also. Hope it doesn’t come to that. But desperate people do desperate things. Let common sense prevail.

      Thousands of resident Dominicans are presently living on the edge of life. Pushing them further to the furthest point of the brink is like setting off a nuclear device.

      • October 6, 2021

        You just hate the PM and you and % will say anything to want to hurt the PM but, it will never work your way. Take a hike to Morne Diabolitin. As I have said before and will say it again, Lennox Linton will never be the PM of Dominica, not on this earth, not on the next one. Did you read the ad? It reads, In case Skerrit resigns, we will be looking for a handsome, charismatic, educated, magnetic, and indomitable leader to run Dominica. Someone like the late Maurice Bishop.

  20. Zandoli
    October 5, 2021

    It was about time. Hopefully more companies will impose mandates as a condition of employment.

  21. Lin clown
    October 5, 2021

    I support DIGICEL and RDR,Skerrit,although I admire the man,he should grow BALLS on the matter.Make FULL VACCINATION MANDATORY by December 15th 2021,we already have 47,536 fully or partially vaccinated.A handful or UWP uneducated DON KEYS should not hold the country to ransom.

    • budman
      October 5, 2021

      its still only 25,000. not 47k. doses given doesn’t mean at least one shot. its the island dosage count.

    • %
      October 5, 2021

      Voodoo mathematics by the clown, once more.

    • The Turh Be Told
      October 5, 2021

      Right on target Channel 1. Only God. Only Jehovah. Only our Father will intervene at the appropriate time. The truth will come out. People who do not know their history will perish for lack of knowledge. History has so many lessons to learn. We have had bad dictators who wanted to rule the world. We have had so many genocides. We have had vaccines in the past that contributed to pandemic (man-made) – the Spanish flu spread through soldiers thru vaccines (trials). We live in a dangerous world with a few men who want to control the world when even God has never controlled us but given us the free will to choose. Anything mandatory thing is demonic and an attempt to stifle person rights.
      People where is God? You have built an idol (a golden calf), called a vaccine that does not cure or prevent but you want to impose sanctions. Nothing & no one should take Jehovah’s glory. I warn you people repent, turn to God. Jehovah is watching- Forgiving but also of wrath. DNO please l

      • October 6, 2021

        When you are on your death bed that is when you will be saying I wish I had gotten vaccinated. And if you are vaccinated, why don’t you encourage others to do as you did? It is the best defense yet. People are dying daily in America due to covid. Are you that ignorant?

    • The Truth Be Told
      October 5, 2021

      Lin clown. Are you OK? Stop politicizing this thing because this is not UWP alone that is against this mandatory thing. Do you know something called adverse effect? I am not anti-vaccine because my children are vaccinated but I have seen adverse effects after a DPT vaccine. Turned blue after the vaccine shot given about three days prior. I have always read, researched, not belching bubbles without understanding. I read up & this was an adverse effect which they were aware of because it happened to other children. Praise God that my child did not die. Now you Lin Clown I nominate you a hunter to go give people vaccine against their wishes. There are even doctors & medical personnel who are against taking the vaccine and they have valid reasons. Go read, get educated. You would not be speaking so if u were. Lin do you know what is democracy? Go do some homework. You always with some foolish comment and political. There are Labourites who are against the mandatory vaccine. Get a life

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