An open letter to the Prime Minister and people of St. Vincent and Grenadines from The Association of Writers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
November 11, 2021
Dear Prime Minister,
I write you on behalf of Association of Writers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (AWSVG), a legally established non-profit organisation in the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). We write to express concern and indignation about the “mandatory vaccination” and its implementation deadline of Nov. 19. The AWSVG is calling for an end to the vaccination deadline.
Mr. Prime Minister, you have caused a sudden disruption in Vincentians lives through psychological stress and with the pronouncement of this deadline, you are going to cause a great loss of income, undue stress to those who have decided not to take these vaccines. Sir, vaccination is a personal choice, I repeat a personal choice for all individuals but compulsory vaccination is an immoral, and illegal violation of human rights and God-given freedom of conscience. These “compulsory measures’ are absurd and unconstitutional and I will even venture to say “bordering conspiratorial”. It was Nelson Mandela who said, “An unjust law is no law at all.” Let us not forget that chattel slavery was at one time “legal” but we all know what happened in the end.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “When the people fear the government that’s tyranny. When the government fears the people that’s freedom.” Compulsory jabs threaten to alienate workers skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines and persons who are unaccustomed to the state meddling in their personal lives. Association of Writers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in no favour with the marginalisation and alienation of workers at the workplace. Social exclusions and discrimination of workers is wrong and counterproductive to national interest. Sir, the AWSVG is quite aware that government’s officials and health authorities are panicking so they have no choice but to act swiftly and try to enforce the mandatory vaccine deadlines which many of them are not in favour. Many persons do not want to be vaccinated so the government needs to find a more balanced, humane, pragmatic approach to workers concerns, fears and human rights.
These vaccines have not yet been tested and proven over time (most conventional drugs needs seven to 10 years to properly evaluate efficacy and possible adverse side effects before you can have some form of confidence in recommending them. Anyone who has studied pharmacology will know this.) Therefore, no one knows how these vaccines will manifest themselves in the human body in time to come. In fact, they are “experimental vaccines”. Sir, over 60% of the Vincentian population oppose mandatory vaccinations and experts blame the situation on widespread skepticism of the vaccine due to alleged deaths and harmful side effects. We have already lost the fight against mandatory vaccination with all the recent information on the internet about persons dying after taking the various COVID-19 vaccines and many complications that have arisen. Also in a politically charged and divided nation like SVG distrust for the government and its vaccination program is so rampant. Mr. Prime Minister, your government’s rush for mandatory vaccination underlines a failing vaccination programme which has only seen about 20% of the population fully vaccinated despite the free availability of the vaccine, there is wanton rejection of your mandatory vaccination. Failing to adhere to the public’s outcry against these vaccines will leave you in the end with a black legacy (meaning white) politically speaking.
With such high levels of vaccine hesitancy in SVG the move towards mandatory vaccination represents a big political risk for the government to the extent that any government or party branded with the name, ”Labour” will be ostracised . We are sure that this is not the legacy you will want to leave for your budding politicians in so doing you are following in the footsteps of Milton Cato, remember the dreaded bills. Sir, this unprecedented mandatory vaccination push by the government has further divided the society into vaccinated and unvaccinated tribes. Mr. Prime Minister, less than fifty percent of the public service workers are vaccinated. Vaccination in SVG has failed to reach the “herd immunity” required.If an employee is requested to provide proof of vaccination and refuses an employer must be cognisant of the employees right to privacy which includes a right to protection against unlawful collection, dissemination and use of personal information by the state. Please Mr. Prime Minister rescind the SR90no 28 of 2021.
The Public Health (Public Bodies’ Special Measures) Rules 2021 which will came into force on Nov. 19 requires workers to prove receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Failure to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 have resulted in workers not being allowed to enter their respective workplaces and will be treated as being absent from duty without leave for ten working days
The Association of Writers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is calling on the government to desist from this inhumane practice and provide a more just option for all the workers of the state during these precarious times. Our organisation acknowledges that you are an elderly citizen and must be treated with all due respect, we love you and care for you and do not wish that through your reckless mandates this blessed land, Hairouna falls into social unrest and social upheaval. Do the right thing and remove this wicked and evil public health measure in these harsh “covidus” times where Vincentians are now facing high unemployment, rise in violent crimes, hikes in gas and food prices with a bleak economic future. We await your insightful judgment.
Dr. Chester L. Toney (MD)
President of ASWSVG
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