British Virgin Islands

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

How can frontline workers refuse COVID vaccines?

How can frontline workers refuse COVID vaccines?

Public commentator and government consultant Claude Skelton Cline has decried the reported decision of some essential workers who’ve refused to take Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
He has now questioned whether the BVI should consider making the vaccines mandatory for those deemed ‘frontline workers’.

Speaking on the February 23 edition of his Honestly Speaking radio show, Skelton Cline said he has received information that some healthcare practitioners, police as well as Customs and Immigration officers have decided not to take the COVID jabs.

He said this would have been fine if these workers did not have to intimately interact with the public. But since their work requires intimate public interactions, Skelton Cline said they “do not have the right to put other people’s health at risk”.

“It is not my right to risk other people’s health. It is not your right. You do not have a personal, private right to risk other people’s health. This matter of the vaccine is in the best interest of the country. I wonder if we have come to the place where this vaccine should be made mandatory for frontline workers?” Skelton Cline questioned.

“How are you going to be in a hospital, in pharmacies, doctors’ private offices and not be vaccinated? Do you not trust the very science in which you practice? On top of that, we are supposed to open this territory on March 1st. How are we to prudently, wisely do that when we have all of this vaccination hesitancy, especially among us as black people because our white brothers and sisters are out in droves, standing in line, ready to be vaccinated?” Skelton Cline stated.

He also said the BVI should consider whether it wants the vaccines to be mandatory for teachers as well. Additionally, Skelton Cline said provisions should be made for frontline workers to step back from their duties once they refuse to take the vaccine.

Health Minister Carvin Malone has reported that some 2,050 people have taken the COVID-19 vaccines as of February 23.

Our news centre has not yet been able to ascertain the number of healthcare workers who have taken the vaccine and the number that has refused the jabs.

BVI News also checked with Police Commissioner Michael Matthews who said he couldn’t give exact figures but said he personally “witnessed a good number of police officers take the vaccine” when it was being offered at the Police Headquarters last week.

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