CHANGE OF PLANS: PSA revisits vaccine position amid record COVID surge; urges officers to get the jab

CHANGE OF PLANS: PSA revisits vaccine position amid record COVID surge; urges officers to get the jab

PSA unsure how many members’ deaths in the past few weeks have been related to COVID

Chairman says even “losing one member is far too much”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Police Staff Association (PSA) Executive Chairman Sonny Miller said yesterday that the association has changed its position on COVID-19 vaccinations and is now “pleading” with its members to get vaccinated.

Miller’s comments come as The Bahamas sets another bleak milestone of 3,000-plus coronavirus cases in a single month. There have also been 63 COVID deaths this month alone, taking the number of deaths in the country to 354, with another 48 under investigation.

PSA Executive Chairman Sergeant Sonny Miller.

Back in March, Miller told Eyewitness News that the majority of PSA’s members were reluctant to get the jab.

“Over the past few weeks, it has been rough for us as a Police Staff Association losing a couple of members,” he said.

“We don’t know the cause of death [of all], but losing one member is far too much for us.

“As I always say, we don’t complain as police officers; we know what we sign up for. We have to get the job done and we will continue to work even in the midst of this crisis, even heading into this election season.

“We will continue to work. We know the country is calling on us to step up and go above and beyond.”

Miller offered condolences to family members of officers who lost loved ones.

He could not indicate how many officers may have been impacted by COVID-19.

However, he urged officers to take advantage of the law enforcement vaccine drive being held this week and to follow all safety protocols outlined.

A Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officer receives his first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the RBDF Base on Monday, March 21, 2021. (RBDF PHOTO)

“We know in most cases we put country above self, but to our members — remain focused, remained professional and be safe out there because we want everyone to return to their family in peace.”

In a notice posted on their Facebook page on Saturday, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) announced a COVID-19 vaccination drive for all law enforcement officers at St Joseph’s Church, Boyd Road, on Monday and Tuesday by appointment or walk-in. All vaccines will be available, it added.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle encouraged all officers to preemptively protect themselves from dire symptoms of COVID-19 by receiving one of the available vaccinations.

As of Saturday, 146,738 doses of vaccines had been administered in The Bahamas and 57,593 people were fully vaccinated. Some 2,822 Bahamians and residents registered with the Ministry of Health to indicate they have been vaccinated abroad.

About Sloan Smith Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.