La Soufrière, a stratovolcano on the Island of Saint Vincent has erupted. This explosive event, the first time the volcano has erupted since 1979, has left the island in a humanitarian crisis that, according to the United Nations, could last for months. Twenty thousand people have been evacuated from their homes but with the neighbouring islands of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda likely to be affected, where will they go?
Thank goodness a fleet of cruise ships has arrived to rescue those threatened by the volcano. But wait, according to The Sun Saint Vincent residents who have not had their Covid jabs are banned from being evacuated onto the cruise ships.
‘St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves confirmed that only those who had been vaccinated against coronavirus would be allowed to onboard the ships.
He said: “The chief medical officer would be identifying the persons already vaccinated so that we can get them on the ship.”
Residents who have not been jabbed but are likely to have received it in time to join the cruise ship evacuations would not be allowed to board because of possible side effects such as “wooziness in the head”.’
The Daily Mail carried the same story and so it must be true.
I know this is a natural disaster and calls for radical and swift action but it calls into question the ethics of vaccine passports. Have the people of Saint Vincent had access to an effective vaccination programme? Indeed, has the nation been able to procure sufficient vaccines for its population? Is being left behind due to individual choice or by lack of availability?
So far, the UK, recognised as one of the leading vaccination programmes in the world, has vaccinated around 36.6 million people (31.4 million first dose and 5.2 million second dose). This would mean that, with a population of 66.6 million, 30 million of us wouldn’t get on the boat.
How long would it be before a vaccine passport, introduced to allow us to go into restaurants and pubs, be used to decide who has access to essential and potentially life-saving services?
We don’t need health apartheid. Vaccine passports are a bad idea.