The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has refuted reports that it is denying promotional training to some of its rank and file members who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Rather, over 30 rank and file members of the JCF selected under a corporal and sergeant development training programme are being advised to get vaccinated against the coronavirus due to the format of the planned activities being face-to-face.

The disclosure was made by the JCF’s senior communications strategist, Dennis Brooks in a media interview.

He noted further that the decision taken by the police was based on the recommendation of the force’s medical team.

Brooks sought to assure that the force does not interfere with members’ vaccination preferences. However, he argued that their “right of refusal” comes with implications, and those unvaccinated officers would not be able to participate in that specific training programme.

But he was quick to point out that other opportunities for promotional training will be available for those unvaccinated law enforcers who cannot participate in the programme in question.

In a subsequent radio interview on Thursday, Brooks disclosed that some police officers listed for the promotional training programme, who were unvaccinated, have since received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Jamaica Police Federation held a meeting with the Police High Command via Zoom in relation to the vaccination issue.

When Loop News contacted, head of the federation, Corporal Rohan James, for a comment Thursday, said he was in a Zoom meeting and could not speak at that time.

Subsequent calls went unanswered.

In other media interviews, James indicated the JCF will be providing clarity to officers on the vaccination issue that had arisen.

It is understood, however, that there is still disquiet among some rank and file members who have reservations about taking the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Some are in fear that they will be discriminated by their superiors if they refuse to take the jab.

On Tuesday, information circulated on social media that some rank and file members were allegedly notified that they will be replaced in a promotional training programme if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

The promotional programme vacancies left behind by unvaccinated police officers would be filled by their colleagues who have been inoculated against the respiratory illness, according to information circulating on social media.

Those reports have since been described as a “misunderstanding”.

Jamaica began its vaccination programme against the dreaded novel coronavirus in March. The police officers, along with other frontline workers, were prioritised in the first two weeks of the programme to get their first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, reports suggest that since that time, the take up of the vaccine among law enforcers has been relatively low.

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