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How mandatory vaccinations can save lives

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Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2021. 4:23 pm CST.

Тhе vіеwѕ ехрrеѕѕеd іn this аrtісlе аrе those оf the writer аnd nоt nесеѕѕаrіlу those оf Вrеаkіng Веlіzе Nеwѕ.

By Adrian Palma: Although many people argue that a mandatory vaccination statutory instrument is a violation of their human rights, I disagree completely because most people that died from COVID-19 in Belize were not vaccinated. While the Government of Belize (GOB) should respect the rights of individuals, GOB has a responsibility to act in the best interest of Belizeans as a whole. If Belize continues on the current path to persuade Belizeans to get vaccinated, our country will suffer from another widespread attack by the virus. The method of persuading Belizeans to get vaccinated is not working and it can be seen in the increasing rate of new confirmed cases every day across the country. Hence, I believe that this new approach to only allow vaccinated persons or individuals with a negative PCR test into public buildings will protect our community and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Also, Belizeans across the country must be aware of the facts about COVID-19 and the different vaccines. For example, anti-vaxxers base their point of view on the following statements:

1. The vaccine is killing people in Belize.

2. The vaccine is ineffective because it does not prevent you from contracting COVID-19.

3. The vaccine causes a blood clotting disorder.

My reply to these allegations are as followed:

1. There have been no reported deaths caused by the covid-19 vaccine in Belize. Only two people have died from COVID-19 who were already vaccinated but both persons had underlying conditions that contributed to their death.

2. According to the World Health Organization, “The COVID-19 vaccines produce protection against the disease, as a result of developing an immune response to the SARS-Cov-2 virus”. This means that the purpose of the vaccine is to ease the effects and severe symptoms of the coronavirus.

3. After reviewing over 190 million AstraZeneca vaccinations, WHO announced that blood clots as a rare side-effect. In fact, I know many Belizeans with blood pressure and type two diabetes who did not have any side effects from the vaccine. The chances of unusual clots are very rare and WHO emphasized that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.

After considering all these facts, some Belizeans may still argue that they do not trust these vaccines and will not allow the Government to implement a mandatory vaccination statutory instrument because that is against their rights. I would like to remind them that 81.9 percent of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. If you rather choose to take your chances with the virus, be mindful that the delta variant has caused an increase in cases and deaths for the younger individuals in Belize. So my question to the anti-vaxxers is if they will choose a vaccine that is proven to be more than 90 percent effective or allow themselves to be vulnerable to a virus that can kill them and their families?

In regards to the Belizeans that feel their rights will be violated if vaccinations become mandatory to enter public buildings, be aware that your decision to remain unvaccinated affects the safety and health of your family, friends, and the community.

It must be made clear that when you contract COVID-19, the lives of everyone around you are at stake, not only your own. 

With that said, I repeat that the government has an obligation to protect the lives of its citizens and we should support a mandatory vaccination to fight back against COVID-19.

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