Parents and Children protest against Antiguan governments’ mandate vaccine policy

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Antigua and Barbuda: Parents and Children were seen protesting outside the office of the Education Ministry, on Tuesday, expressing their rage against the government’s decision of mandate inoculation for children in the schools.

A few days back, the government made an announcement that the unvaccinated secondary students who fall in the age group of – 12 to 18 years, teachers and the other staff members would not be permitted to enter the school premises until they vaccinate themselves. Although, the students can continue learning from the online classes.

While one of the activists told media that the students are suffering under this mandate COVID-19 policy made by the government, noting, “Our children are languishing for want of a good policy and a good system in Antigua and Barbuda. Remote learning is a national disaster, and our children have not been able to get an adequate education as demanded by the Education Act of Antigua and Barbuda”.

Following his statement, he outlined that this is the time when everybody needs to stand up for the students because this time, it is about their future.

“We have to stand up for our children. If we do not stand up, we are going to have a set of children that are not educated, that cannot pass CXC, that cannot get good jobs, and that just makes us beggars in Antigua and Barbuda”.

The Ministry of Education highlighted that around 3,000 of the 8,000 students who are eligible to take the WHO-approved Pzifer COVID-19 vaccine are still unvaccinated against the deadly mutant.

The government, on their part, stated that the policy had been made for the welfare and safety of students so that they could educate themselves in a safe environment.

The previous month, Prime Minister Gaston Browne emphasized that the island would not step into 2022 with unvaccinated citizens.

“We are not going to go into – 2022 limping & creating more stress and strain for the economy. The economy cannot take any more stress, more strain and those who may want to suggest that it may be – irresponsible for us to do so, well, you know what, our people would have had numerous months to get themselves vaccinated,” pm noted.