Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados TODAY Inc.
Of all the things that have divided humanity before, who ever imagined that something like the choice to take a vaccine would prove to be more divisive than anything before.
As I reflect on the challenge before us, let me first commend the government of Barbados for making COVID-19 vaccines available to the people of Barbados.
I believe it was the right and responsible thing to do, as no effort should be spared to make them available to persons who are desirous of such medical intervention at this time.
There are varying reasons why persons may want or need to be vaccinated against the disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 and not having access to a vaccine might have been way too distressing for such persons.
However, the huge challenge before us as a society now is the issue of choice; and again, I commend the government of Barbados for respecting the peoples’ rights with reference to bio-medical intervention and consent.
I wish to now quote the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; “The virus is destroying many lives and much else of what is very dear to us. We should not let it destroy our core values and free societies,”. On the issue of “free societies”, I could not help but notice the call for consideration of mandatory vaccination and vaccine passports, by whatever name they choose, from representatives of the entertainment and private sectors.
Maybe, and understandably so, the crisis before them is more an economic than a health one, but for some of us, it is more about health and long-term wellness. As we hear the mantras of “following the science” and “fake news”, the questions must be asked: which science?
And how is fake news determined? Not all scientists in the fields of virology and immunology agree on the current approach to managing this pandemic; there are indeed opposing camps, all containing very well credentialled, experience and credible scientists. So how is it that one camp seems to be purveyors of credible science and the other of “fake news”? There is no doubt that the leading available vaccines are “new” or “next generation” vaccines, for which there is no real data with regard to long term effects and so many persons are sceptical about being injected with such.
In addition to persons with such concerns, there are others who for religious and other individual reasons of well-being do not want to be injected with these substances.
There are persons who have consciously avoided the use of pharmaceuticals and who have been dedicating themselves to aligning their lives and living with nature as much as their society and environment would allow.
Do these people have no rights as far as their choice of way of life is concerned? Why should they be asked to sacrifice their way of life for the economic well-being of others? As it stands, the calls that I have heard made for consideration to mandatory vaccination and vaccine passports, really have little to do with health, it is really about getting on with the business of making money and enjoying oneself.
So again, I express my appreciation for the decision of the leadership of Barbados to not suspend or violate the above mentioned rights of citizens, of human beings, in the interest of economics.
To be injected with these substances is not a temporary thing; and if the press would be so fair and balanced as to publish this article, at least two others will follow, detailing biological and social concerns that some of us have in relation to the current vaccine campaign.
Anthony L. Reid