Mary Francis Concerned Over ‘Back Door’ Vaccine Mandates

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Attorney at Law Mary Francis, asserting that it would be unconstitutional for the government to legislate a vaccine mandate, has nevertheless expressed concern that the measure is coming through the ‘back door.’

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration has indicated that it will not implement mandatory vaccination.

Nevertheless, Francis said they can still ensure that they bring it about by their policies and practices.

By way of example, the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, cited what she described as discriminatory policies of employers aimed at denying unvaccinated employees work.

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Last month, the Saint Lucia Private Sector Council pointed to ‘legal and medical advice’ supporting vaccination workplace policies while expressing support for such measures.

Mary Francis declared that a recent statement by Labour Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte and the practices of some local employers follow a growing global dictatorial trend of denying certain privileges to individuals who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last week a fully vaccinated Albert-Poyotte asserted that individuals could not merely declare that they are not taking the vaccine, although refusal for health reasons was understandable.

The Minister also told reporters that people who refuse to take the vaccine would have to remain a slave to masks, sanitisation, and social distancing for the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, she expressed that vaccinated individuals should have the freedom to move around without any masks because they are fully protected.

However, Mary Francis said people must stand up and speak out, not allowing the state and others to take away their rights despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.

And she warned that social chaos and many problems could arise from a policy of exclusion and discrimination regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

“I am not telling anybody to go out there and be irresponsible. We know the pandemic is a severe threat to health and the economy; nevertheless, we must be vigilant,” the outspoken Human Rights campaigner told St Lucia Times.

In this regard, she expressed support for the group – Freedom Coalition, which held a press conference on Saturday in Derek Walcott Square.

The group plans to galvanize support against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Saint Lucia and get a voice in managing the pandemic.

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