Submitted by Tee White
Addressing the country on 27 July 2021, following a meeting of the Social partnership to discuss the issue of mandatory Covid vaccination and testing, Prime Minister Mottley stated, among other things, that her government is convinced that Covid 19 vaccines reduce virus transmission. As the prime minister did not present the evidence on the basis of which the government has formed this conclusion, it was not clear how this opinion was arrived at. A search of the scientific literature on the impact of Covid vaccines on virus transmission produced not a single study that has been conducted on this issue in Barbados or the wider Caribbean region. In fact, globally, there is a significant lack of scientific studies on this matter.
To date, there appears to be one well designed scientific study which specifically sought to determine whether vaccination reduces virus transmission. This study by Harris et al. (2021) investigated the impact of AstraZeneca and Pfizer’s vaccines on virus transmission within households in England. It found evidence of reduced virus transmission in households where the individual had been vaccinated. Although, this is an important study, it’s essential to bear in mind that this is a single study and its results will need to be replicated by future studies to provide solid scientific grounds for the claim that the Covid vaccines reduce virus transmission. Secondly, this study looked only at transmission within households and so its findings are limited to that particular area. Finally, this study collected its data in England between 4 January and 14 March. Anyone familiar with life in England understands that this is one of the coldest times of the year which leads to people spending more time indoors and keeping windows and doors closed to keep in warmth. Poorly ventilated indoor spaces are generally regarded as high risks areas for the spread of Covid 19. Therefore it cannot be assumed that the findings from this study are applicable to Barbados, where people spend a lot more time outdoors all year round and windows and doors are generally kept open to ‘let breeze in the house’. The statement from Dr Corey Forde, Isolation Facilities Manager, on 27 July that 40% of those currently in tertiary Covid isolation in the country have been doubly vaccinated, while the doubly vaccinated represent only 27% of the Barbados population is further evidence that there is lot still to understand about these vaccines and their impact. Therefore, there is an urgent need for scientific studies of the impact of vaccines on virus transmission in the concrete conditions of Barbados before the government can make pronouncements on this issue which have a scientific basis.
When considering the issue of mandatory vaccination, the other question that has to be taken account of is the scale of the public health threat that Covid 19 poses in Barbados. According to the official government statistics, as of 27 July 2021, the government has conducted 212,640 Covid tests, of which 4359 returned positive. In other words 98% of tests returned negative results while 2% were positive. Of Barbados’ population of 287,025 (World Bank estimate for 2019), the positive Covid tests represent 1.5% of the population. Since March 2020, the government statistics report 48 deaths from Covid 19. This amounts to 3 deaths per month for the last 16 months. This compares with a total of 2602 deaths in Barbados in 2019 or 216 deaths per month. Based on this data, a realistic assessment of the public health threat posed to Barbados by Covid 19 can be made and the proportionality of any proposed response can be evaluated.
There is a growing concern that the push towards mandatory vaccination of the population is being driven by the private sector and in particular, the hotel owners who think that describing their properties as fully vaccinated will make it easier to market them in this new Covid era. However, given that the vaccines themselves are not risk free and are associated with vaccine induced injuries and in some cases, deaths, it’s obvious that the decision to accept or refuse vaccination must be the personal choice of each individual once they have been provided with all the relevant information to make an informed decision. Any move to coerce individuals into being vaccinated, either through the law or through threatening them with the loss of their livelihood would represent a direct assault on the fundamental human right to make decisions about the medical procedures that are carried out on their body.
It is also clear that if employers decide to make it a requirement that employees undergo regular Covid testing, then the cost of this cannot be passed to the individual worker since this would in itself represent indirect coercion to be vaccinated.
In her press conference, the prime minister stated that once the Attorney General has presented his legal opinion, the government will consult with Bajans on how to proceed with regard to mandatory vaccination and testing. It is hoped that Bajans will take an active part in these consultations and vigorously defend their fundamental human right to be the ones who decide what happens to their bodies.
“Experts say that vaccination makes it less likely that you’ll catch Covid-19 in the first place”
the recent widespread upsurges will have them reviewing this statement in the coming months…
The problem with Barbados’wicked treacherous leaders, they have violated Black rights for so long that they won’t blink twice to take money from anyone to continue..,even if it VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL LAWS, Mia you will be taken out of the parliament for this…you went too far in the usual wicked anti-blackness. And we must ask who she is working for that she is willing to be dragged up before the international court of justice for human rights violations to wit…forcing experimental vaccine drugs on the population…
Yall love to ignore what ya signatory to
Re mandating vaccines…
Yall are signatory to the UNs ICCPR the international convenant on civil rights from 1966 ratified and became law in Dec 1991…article 7 = no one shall be subjected WITHOUT FREE consent to medical or scientific/medical experimentation…so ya think ya bigger than the UN now, even with an emergency ya can’t just force vaccine on anyone according to Article 4.2 of that same covenant….YOU HAVE NO RIGHT AND CAN GO TO PRISON..,
A multilateral treaty signed on to by Caricom
YALL ARE FRAUDS…..yall should go to prison via the Nuremburg Trials…
You are now subject to those violations…keep it up.
This BLP government is very dangerous and remain the enemies of Black/African people, yall better keep your eyes well trained on them….you have resident evil in the parliament.
Lawson…ya did not tell us that’s how ya look in a red dress..
I was wondering why the great corruption fighter, Wura, was coming up so wrong on covid-19 and then I remembered an old saying…”To a hammer , everything looks like a nail”.
Present or not, she would smell corruption.
lol…Theo…..don’t know why you still believe that it’s ok for those who don’t want to get vaccinated TO BE FORCED..in direct contravention of international law…….but not this time…..even worse, the government has NO RIGHT to circumvent international law to dictate that EVERYONE should be vaccinated because they say so……to fulfill whatever scam they got going……these are criminals who are not above human trafficking and are experts at CORRUPTION….you can put your life in their hands…..but not everyone is that trusting….and have a right to say so..
Theo…feel free to dispute this.
“Vaccinated T&T Olympians test positive
Three members of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team have tested positive for covid-19, following a routine Saliva Antigen test at the Olympic Village.
Long jumper And wuelle Wright and 400m hurdler Sparkle-Ann McKnight, will not compete at the Games in Tokyo after their covid-19 tests returned positive results.
A coach, Wendell Williams will also miss the games, after becoming the third positive result.
With less than 24-hours to compete, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee revealed the breaking news via social media.
“Two Team TTO athletes and one official received positive test results following daily routine Saliva Antigen tests at the Olympic Village. This came following two Nasopharyngeal PCR verification tests in accordance with established Tokyo 2020 COVID-19 protocols, countermeasures, and guidelines.
The three members have been placed into quarantine at an approved hotel facility for foreign athletes and officials.
Former Carifta gold medallist and Trinidad and Tobago’s national long jump record holder, Wright, also confirmed the news via social media. The aspiring athlete is disheartened by the circumstances but is happy that he is healthy and well.
“The Olympics has come [and] gone for me and my heart hurts more than anything else. I am devasted, confused and heartbroken. My coach and I both tested positive for COVID-19 virus days before I had to compete, after receiving six (6) negative tests and I had to withdraw from the games,” he posted.
“More Importantly I’m okay although I don’t know what “okay” looks like right now but I’m happy to be alive and breathing.”
23-year-old Wright, who is from Tobago, said he was fully vaccinated and was not showing any symptoms during his time at the Olympic Games.
“[I was] experiencing zero symptoms of this virus also being fully vaccinated, meaning my Olympic dreams and everything we worked hard towards was shattered.”
McKnight, previously represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics, reaching the semifinals on the second occasion.
Williams was a former Trinidad and Tobago national long jump record holder. He held the previous mark of 8.14m since 1999.
However, Wright leaped to an impressive 8.23m to eclipse the feat his coach had achieved. (SportsMax)”
Turns out both Israel and Seychelles, the two most vaccinated countries on earth have the highest rates of infection for both the delta and South Africa variants…
It’s up to St. Vincent’s frontline workers to take this dying looking thing to court, to CCJ and to the world court …they too have rights, let’s test the theory..
Getting out of the Referendum / Republic talk.
When all is said and done, it is B vs D.
That cannot hold my interest.
I made this comment before..
Are Barbadian women becoming more beautiful?
Was I blind or did they wait until long after I leave to display their beauty?
I can see why Lawson has it on his travel schedule.
The call for the Republic is just, as long as our Supreme Leader wants it so.
What can we say.
Yesterday’s march organisers have said that 4,000 people marched against vaccination.
100,392 people have already marched to clinics to received their vaccination.
Barbados has a population of about 229,000 people who are 12 years old or older. We need to immunize 80% of 229,000, or about 193,2000 people in order to reach herd immunity. So even if those 4,000 never show up it makes zero difference to the rest of us. Maybe Covid will catch some of them, maybe some of them will die, but people have the right to chose when to end their lives, 700,000 people worldwide already take their own lives every year. Another few dozen from Barbados is neither here nor there. Their families will certainly miss them, but the rest of us will not even notice.
In any event the modelling is that 45,800 people can remain unvaccinated. And yes some will die, but most of us won’t even notice nor mourn their passing.
Why did the people march yesterday?
Martinique reels under covid-19. Tourists are asked to leave the island.
Thanks for this article. Very interesting if only because Martinique has a similar population size and is an economy dependent on tourism although not to the same degree to compare to Barbados. What is interesting is the number of deaths and demand on beds at the hospital.
@David August 8, 2021 3:40 PM “@Simple Simon. Why did the people march yesterday?”
To be honest David I did not ask them.
Keeping me old tail in the house and in the garden as much as possible.
@TLSN August 10, 2021 2:36 PM “Martinique reels under covid-19. Tourists are asked to leave the island.”
Thanks TLSN. I was planning to go there Saturday.
5 new Covid19 cases yesterday. 0.36 of the 1379 people tested were positive for Covid19
100, 573 adults have received their first vaccination
80,752 adults have received both doses.