Business struggles to get staff jabbed

AS Papua New Guinea's Covid-19 vaccination rollout stalls, businesses are facing pushback to their efforts to immunise workers.
Business struggles to get staff jabbed Business struggles to get staff jabbed Business struggles to get staff jabbed Business struggles to get staff jabbed Business struggles to get staff jabbed

Adrian Chow

Staff Reporter

AS Papua New Guinea's Covid-19 vaccination rollout stalls, businesses are facing pushback to their efforts to immunise workers.
 
In Morobe capital Lae, Prima Smallgoods has made vaccinations compulsory for casual workers but optional for permanent employees.
 
Prima's CEO Adrian Chow said there is a strong level of resistance among his 300 workers.
 
"They think that once you get vaccinated there is electricity through your body ... or that within a few months you might die," he said.
 
"It's very difficult to change their attitudes because it (Covid-19) is something new," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Chow as saying.
 
Prima recently brought in a nurse to talk to staff about the virus and vaccines but Chow said it did not go well.
 
"Some of the staff with strong views against vaccination starting shouting her down, they became quite rude and disrespectful," he said.
 
Elsewhere staff resistance to Covid-19 vaccinations has even turned violent.
 
According to local reports workers at another Lae business, Mainland Holdings, stoned their CEO's car in protest of the company's strict no jab-no job policy.
 
Mainland Holdings declined to comment.
 
A look at PNG's vaccination figures shows why businesses are eager to protect their workforces and operations.
 
Only 1.7% of the eligible population, around 32,000 people, are fully vaccinated.
 
The deputy pandemic controller Dr Daoni Esorom admits that it is not good enough and that authorities are struggling to counter considerable vaccine hesitancy in the community.
 
"We need to work very hard to convince people, to educate them to understand the benefits of vaccines," Esorom said.
 
Vaccinations are optional in PNG but Dr Esorom says the government supports the right of employers to mandate vaccinations in the workplace.
 
"It's becoming an occupational and health and safety issue in the workplace so we need to protect the workplace," he said.

 

topics

loader
  • NEW: Digital version of PNG Report magazine - View here
  • Porgera: Barrick-PNG talks go on - Read more
  • Follow the companies investing in the PNG market - Read more

Most read Community