The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) said on Wednesday that it will not support mandatory vaccination for teachers.
The GTU, in a statement, said it will continue to support voluntary vaccination.
President Irfaan Ali during a press conference on Monday, August 02, 2021 said as the government prepares to reopen schools in September, he hopes teachers will show leadership and get vaccinated.
The President did not explicitly say vaccination will be mandatory for teachers but stated that the government will not be exposing children to unvaccinated teachers.
According to the GTU’s statement, the President attempted “to cajole teachers to get vaccinated.”
GTU said it will neither advise against nor enforce its members to get vaccinated.
“As a consequence of this being a new type of vaccine, the hesitancy expressed by many worldwide is understood.
“Our teachers are no different since some of our members have reservations due to personal illness(es) and/or fear.
“We wish to see awareness campaigns that match the zeal of the vaccination drives to assure our members (and all Guyanese) during this trying time,” the statement read.
GTU is urging “all teachers and right-thinking Guyanese” to resist any attempt if the it becomes mandatory to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Teachers! We will stand with you should there be any attempt to make vaccination mandatory for returning to the classroom,” GTU stated.
Meanwhile, employees in the private sector are now required to get a COVID-19 vaccine or present a negative PCR-COVID-19 test weekly.
Many public places are now requiring persons to present their vaccine card in order to gain entry.
With the updated COVID-19 measures, unvaccinated persons are now required to make appointments before visiting public offices.
Additionally, travellers coming to Guyana are now required to be vaccinated. This takes effect from August 08, 2021.
Thus far, 549 lives have been lost and Guyana has recorded over 22, 000 infections from the virus.