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Opposition Leader Godwin Friday receives his jab in Bequia on Feb. 14, 2021. (Photo: SVG Health/Facebook)
Opposition Leader Godwin Friday receives his jab in Bequia on Feb. 14, 2021. (Photo: SVG Health/Facebook)
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Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday says that no one forced him to take a COVID-19 vaccine and that more and more people are deciding to get the jab.

He made the point on his weekly programme on NICE Radio, on Monday, when asked to comment on the view that instead of trying to work with the opposition to address the COVID-19 crisis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the government was allocating blame.

“Everybody knows my record on this. I’ve been consistent in saying that this is the biggest problem we have in the country and we have to treat it as such,” Friday said of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the government, at one point, made light of the pandemic, “as if it was a passing shower, and to laugh and to score political points, trying to make us look as if we are stupid, we are alarmist.

“The attitude that it has inculcated in some parts of the population is that ‘You can’t trust what the government is saying. I don’t believe them because one time they’re saying this and one time they are saying that’,” Friday said on his weekly appearance on New Times.

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“One thing that you can’t say with a straight face with my position is that we have not been consistent,” said Friday, whose New Democratic Party supports COVID-19 vaccination but opposes mandating the jab.

“Some people try to say, ‘Oh, well how can you say, Friday, that you are vaccinated and you’re [saying] that you can’t force people to be vaccinated?’ Well, nobody forced me to get vaccinated. That’s the point. I made that decision based on the information that was available at the time and more and more people are doing similarly.

“And they are making their journey towards that position and that’s the encouragement that government and those of us who are vaccinated can offer. But it’s not to take the superior attitude that if you are vaccinated you are better than the people who are not, that you are smarter than the people who are not,” the opposition leader said.

As of Monday, Oct. 4, 33 people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines had died of COVID-19.

Of those deaths, 21 have occurred since Sept. 9.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 3,776 cases of COVID-19 and 2,522 recoveries have been recorded since March 2020. There are 1,221 active cases in the country. 

According to the most recent vaccination data, as of Sept. 30, 34,149 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in SVG, representing 20,661 first doses and 13,488 second doses.

4 replies on “‘Nobody forced me to get vaccinated’ – Opposition Leader”

  1. Politics is what it is; “politics” and so Leadership is also “leadership”. However, what a Leader has to understand is that they have followers who look up to them regardless, therefore, will comes critical instances when a Leader must take a stance as in the case this COVID19 pandemic.
    A Pandemic leaves no space for political game playing, as it is dealing with the lives of your followers. You as the leader cannot say; “nobody forced me to get the vaccinated” – ‘so that means I will not use my influence to force my followers’.
    You cannot be a LEADER and sit on the fence during a pandemic. Neither because you are an opposition means that you always have to been seen on the opposite side of the fence.
    Yes, at the early stage of the pandemic the majority world leaders including SVG’s PM treated it as a ‘passing shower’, however; SVG opposition took to the other side of the fence until the vaccination became a likely lifesaving possibility; started by the G7 and other Caribbean leaders.
    The world is in a crisis of distrust of Governments due to the ups and downs related to COVID19.The point is that; the Opposition leader took the Vaccine and made the decision based on the information that was available to him at the time, therefore, he as the leader should have taken the stance that ‘it is the most appropriate based on his findings; and his advice is to take the vaccine’; period.

  2. Friday is right. Ralph, Boris Johnson and the president of Brazil took the news of the virus as a joke. He even allowed Vincentians to attend Nine Morning, instead of limiting all gatherings.
    Now he’s acting as if he know all about the virus and trying to force folks to take it.
    His problem was and still is his failure to get the people and the opposition involved in discussing the virus and steps to be taken to get it under control.
    His failure to get others involved and to have this medical doctor dictate what Vincentians should and can do, is the reason of the protest.

  3. People who grow up with half truths, imaginations and superstition are more inclined to follow everything preposterous and outrageous and believe it too. I read the news often and the comments on the news and it never ceases to amaze me how very ignorant and stupid some people are, Some go around peddling hearsay and rumours as if it is truth. Look where that has gotten us. Look at the mess we are in now with the covid19 death toll rising. (To put this in a different context, a 10 year old in for example Barbados has more exposure than a 14 year old in SVG.) The lot of you small minded adults are suitable to put in the bush where you don’t need sophistication to survive and where politicians use god and other lies to blind you from the truth. As it stands, many more will have to suffer and die before you open your minds to the reality you live in.

  4. Well said, a majority of people don’t think for themselves there mind is very much close believe everything they hear and not opening their eyes to see the truth what a shame.

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