As it pertains to the importance of frontline workers getting vaccinated, especially law enforcement officers who interact with the public daily, Commodore Dr. Raymond King, commander, Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), was the first RBDF personnel to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, March 22, 2021.
As an essential and critical service with responsibilities of defense and security, peace and security of the maintenance of law and order generally, it is important that the military as a profession of arms remain healthy and fit to effectively counter criminal elements and transnational threats in the domestic and maritime domains. Additionally, vaccination has the benefit of reducing the chances of becoming infected when interacting with the public in the execution of duties.
Conducted at the RBDF’s Coral Harbour base, the inoculations were led by the force’s medical doctor, Lieutenant Commander Dr. Derwin Johnson, along with the medical facility’s professional staff.
Also receiving vaccination was Lisa Adderley, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security.
Being the first in the organization to get vaccinated, Commodore King encourages officers and marines to make the right decision.
“As a fighting force where personal readiness is of the utmost importance, it is critical, although voluntary, to consider the implications linked to not being vaccinated, and exposed to the threats in the performance of our duties which require us to interact with other nationals at sea, where the risk is higher,” King said.
“I, therefore, encourage other organizational members to follow my lead, as I lead from the front, and accept the vaccine to ensure your readiness as a fit and healthy force.”
King said that recent studies based on the scientific evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness nationally and internationally factored into his decision to take the vaccine. This, along with the fact that as the last line of defense, the organization remains committed to ensuring a healthy and fit force.
With this being the first day of vaccinations, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force will give further updates as to the numbers who voluntarily accepted the vaccine.