Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie is insisting that news circulating that mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus is being implemented for all teachers, and other frontline workers, is not factual.
News of the decision was allegedly made by Chief Education Officer Connie George to stakeholders recently. George, according to the reports, also allegedly informed stakeholders that failing to be vaccinated will result in these frontline workers including teachers having to take bi-monthly tests for the virus.
However, addressing the issue via a statement on his social media page yesterday, June 9, Premier Fahie
said: "People of the Virgin Islands
while your elected Government strongly encourages the taking of vaccines
in the fight against Covid
-19, to date, your elected Government have no knowledge of this alleged decision being made of making vaccines
mandatory for teachers and other frontline staff. Nor has your Government approved such in Cabinet."
He added, "Your Government remains resolute to date, to not make mandatory the taking of vaccines
. We have always stated that it is each person's choice whether they want to be vaccinated or not. I applaud the efforts of our public officers, but it is essential that this point be ventilated in the public domain so as to bring clarity to any such concerns that may be floating in the public sphere."
In the meantime, Education Minister and Acting Premier, Dr. Hon. Natalio Wheatley told BVI Platinum News in an invited comment also said that the reports are not truthful.
"My comment is that this is not accurate. It is fake news. The Government's position remains the same: vaccination will not be mandatory for anyone."