Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021. 9:13 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Shadow Minister for Justice for the United Democratic Party, Darrell Bradley, has stated that the party opposes making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for the general population.
Currently, frontline workers such as law enforcement, teachers, and selected public servants are required to take the vaccine, or if they do not, submit to COVID-19 testing every two weeks.
This week, Cabinet said it had asked the Attorney General to explore with the Ministry of Health and Wellness “all necessary legal measures that the government may lawfully implement to help contain the spread of COVID- 19, including options to implement mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for both the public and private sectors or to require vaccination passes for the use of public spaces and for business facilities”.
Bradley said the Opposition fully supports the government’s vaccination program and public relations campaign as it currently stands, to encourage the voluntary taking of the vaccine and does encourage all Belizeans including the party’s supporters to do so. It would also be prepared to support tempered measures like requiring vaccination passes.
But mandatory vaccination, it insists, “violates our most sacred constitutional norms, including respect for the inviolability of the body, protection of human dignity, freedom of choice, and protection of personal privacy. Aside from the constitutional challenge, there are legitimate fears about the long-term effects of the vaccine and persons may have conscientious objections or may present with exiting health issues which may be exacerbated by taking the vaccine.”
Presently children are required to take mandatory vaccinations in their first five years of life for childhood diseases such as polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
The Opposition signals it will challenge such dictates in court and has tasked its legal team to prepare and research ideas for such an event.
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