The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of a local social activist group has likened the government’s recently implemented vaccination policy to an act of rape.
“Forcing someone…forcing me to do something that I don’t want to do, there’s no difference between that and a rapist. You are violating my body. You are violating the bodies of men, women and very soon, children. There is something to be said about any government, whether ours or any across the world, that does things like that,” Nikeisha Williams, PRO of Rise Hairouna said at a joint press conference yesterday hosted by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union(SVGTU).
The SR&O No 28 — The Public Health (Public bodies Special Measures) Rules of 2021 officially came into effect last Friday and require that certain groups of workers take a COVID-19 jab in order to continue working in their respective areas.
And workers have just under 10 days left to take a COVID-19 vaccine before they are deemed to have abandoned their posts and therefore unemployed.
They will also not be eligible to receive any benefits.
“Putting people on the bread line because of a vaccine is wrong across the board. It is wrong socially; we are already fighting unemployment. You are increasing that unemployment with 39 per cent of teachers. You are increasing it with almost 20 per cent of police officers. And the list goes on,” the Rise Hairouna representative said.
Williams noted that some of these public workers have contributed over 15 years of service, some with just a few months to go before retirement.
She added that countries that have implemented vaccine mandates are now reversing the decision because statistics show that herd immunity cannot be achieved even with a 70 per cent vaccination rate among the population.
“It’s impossible. We are seeing countries such as Gibraltar with…pretty much 100 per cent and their COVID numbers are so high, they have decided to cancel Christmas…a celebration that…the Christian world looks forward to, because they cannot run the risk and again, this is a country with 100 per cent population vaccinated,” she said.
Williams continued: “What are we doing? They ask us to follow the science. Well we are following it. We are following the statistics. Our eyes are not closed and the world is not so that what happens in one part of the world stays in that part of the world. Information is coming to our cell phones. Right in your hand, it’s coming right here”.
The Rise Hairouna PRO said COVID-19 vaccines do not prevent persons from getting the disease or spreading the virus.
She also noted that persons have been experiencing complications as a result of taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Are we so sinister, that we will know all of this and still force someone to take this vaccine against their will? Are we so in need to prove a point? Many of these people have been complaining that they have gone for exemptions and they are simply turned away without even being heard. What are we doing to our people? A vaccine that we have no idea how it affects us in a year, two years, three, five, 10, 20; we are pushing our young people to take — not just pushing — we are forcing it upon them,” Williams asserted.
While noting that neither she nor Rise Hairouna is against vaccination, Williams said they stand against mandatory vaccination.
“What we are against is taking people’s rights away from them, putting them on the breadline because you have a mandate. It is wrong,” she said.