Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados TODAY Inc.
Dear Ms. Mottley,
I read in disbelief that the Prime Minister of St Vincent Dr Ralph Gonsalves informed residents of his country that in order for them to “qualify” for evacuation from their volcanic ravaged surroundings, that they first need to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
He in my opinion was clearly using a potentially lifethreatening event to further an unrelated agenda (to which there is much resistance); this of course is reprehensible.
My disbelief grew exponentially when I heard that the countries (Barbados being one of them) which agreed to take the evacuees; and the cruise ships transporting them, were in fact the entities that made as a prerequisite to evacuation, this shocking criterion.
Firstly, everyone knows that getting vaccinated today doesn’t equal protection tomorrow, or even next week, so there is no genuine health risk being addressed by vaccinating these people with such urgency.
Secondly, provided this story is true, are we to assume that these countries are no longer allowing non-vaccinated persons ashore? If so, this is major news. What if some super rich persons who refuse to be vaccinated want to come to live and invest, will they be turned away? In light of the fact that many persons the world over feel very strongly against being vaccinated (and with legitimate cause) to make them such an ultimatum in a time of such crisis is inhumane and shows little regard for their well-being.
I read of a 26-year-old Vincentian woman who said that if she must be vaccinated in order to be evacuated, or be allowed into a shelter, she prefers to go back and “meet Soufriere”. The vaccine is supposed to save lives, but if trying to coerce persons to take it will cost them theirs, how is this helpful? What if, God forbid, we had a serious natural disaster, needed to be evacuated and these same prerequisites were placed on us, the majority of residents here would not qualify; and not due only to vaccine hesitancy … there aren’t even enough vaccines to go around!
I called in to Brasstacks to vent, the moderator had also heard about this stipulation from Barbados but could not confirm if it was accurate; I wrote to GIS, they said they had not heard of this, which is why I am writing to you. I constantly hear you speak on the dangers of “fake news” so I appeal to you to make clear to me and the whole country if this story falls into that category.
Sincerely, An exceedingly concerned citizen of Barbados.