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Jamaica: Marine pilots at ports demanding COVID vaccination, warn of service withdrawal

Jamaica’s marine pilots are warning that they will stop working at midnight if they do not get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently being given to priority groups and the elderly. 

President of the Marine Pilot Association, Hubert Kerr, said that the pilots will not be satisfied with just being placed on a priority list, but are instead advocating for the actual jab to boost their protection against COVID-19, given their interaction with persons from different countries daily. 

A marine pilot is a sailor who manoeuvres ships through dangerous or congested waters such as harbours.

“Without any vaccine, at midnight tonight, we will stop work and until we get the vaccine, not promises, until we are vaccinated, then we will come back,” Kerr warned. 

Although there are 24 marine pilots, Kerr said he is also concerned about the pilot boat drivers who take them to the ships.

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