A teacher who has a history of blood clots says that health officials have told her that her condition is not one for which she can be exempted from taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I suffer from blood clots, so because of that being a side effect of the vaccine, I sought medical exemption,” the educator, who teaches Grade 2 at the Clare Valley Government School told iWitness News in Kingstown on Friday.
She was among teachers and other members of the public, including public sector workers who were fired because of their refusal to take the jab, who came out on the picket line in response to a call by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union on Friday.
“I just got back a letter on Monday that is telling me that my blood clots don’t fit the criteria for medical exemption, even though they don’t know the cause of me getting the blood clots,” the teacher said.
She read the relevant part of the letter, which says:
“I wish to inform you that the medical condition for which the exemption is sought does not fall under any of the conditions listed for which the exemption may be considered and/or granted. Therefore, you are required to comply with Rule 5 of the Statutory Rule and Orders.”
Rule 5 gave all “frontline” workers for which COVID-19 was mandated, until Dec. 3 to take at least one dose of the vaccine in order to keep their jobs.
However, the teacher told iWitness News that she will not take the vaccine.
“God will prove. I have been here before,” she said, regarding the fact that she could lose her job because of her decision not to take the vaccine.
“I have been without a job and not one day did I starve, did not get anything to eat, was not able to send my children to school. So I am holding on to God because he has been faithful to me. So, that is my ground. And I am holding on there. I am standing firm. I am not changing.”
The Ministry of Education has repeatedly said that unvaccinated teachers should not enter school campuses.
However, the teacher said that she continued to report to duty and did so up to last Thursday — the day before the protest.
She said that she was able to teach her students and no one attempted to prevent her from doing so.