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I refer to a recent statement made by Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman that was obviously intended to encourage vaccination against COVID-19. While I may or may not share Mr. Shuman’s particular prescription, I unequivocally and unapologetically agree with his intent.
Editor, I am strongly in favour of the respect for individual rights, I have equal reverence for collective rights and the rights of the people who live in communities. As such, individuals have the right to refuse to be vaccinated, and communities have the right to be protected from COVID-19.
Since it has been shown that the virus is more prevalent in unvaccinated persons, then, it is the duty of the authorities to protect everyone, including the majority of persons who would have done the responsible thing, and would have taken steps to protect themselves and others.
Considering that there is the Delta Variant on a rampage — a COVID-19 variant that takes 16 seconds of exposure to allow person-to-person transmission — it is imperative that the maximum number of Guyanese is protected.
I therefore call on the PPP government to take such action as is needed to ensure that the majority of Guyanese is protected. Further, if a person is so reckless and irresponsible as to endanger the community, as well as family members who may be left with medical and funeral expenses, not to mention tremendous grief and distress, then, that person may have, arguably, abdicated some of the rights to which he or she would otherwise be entitled.