“I am trying not to be judgmental, but I am honestly horrified at the views I am seeing on social media by persons, whose views I normally hold in high regard, about the vaccine which will make the difference between whether this economy tanks completely or God forbid, between life and death!,” she said.
Mrs Smith was at the time venting her frustration in a Facebook post on July 7, 2021, on the resistance to the vaccine by some in the territory.
“I swear that it’s only in the Caribbean that we have the luxury of holding forth on the merits and demerits of something as essential as the COVID vaccine,” she said.
While the government has been pushing the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab as the ultimate fight against the pandemic, some community members, including media presenters, have been propagating an anti-vaccination view and encouraging the community to boycott the vaccines.
“The long and short for me is that everyone has a choice as to whether or not to take the vaccine and that choice is respected. That choice though does not give you the right to cause others to be infected by the virus or to feel uncomfortable around you,” she said.
Mrs Smith continued, “In other words, your choice gives you the right to isolate yourself completely from the rest of this community,” However, she hinted that persons should not let their choice affect others.
The former first lady said she remains saddened that the territory has become so divided over a matter of ‘simple common sense.”
She reminded that a vaccine will not always keep persons from getting COVID, but will keep persons free of most or all of the symptoms associated with the virus.
“I stand firmly with all employers who allow their employees to exercise their choice to not take the vaccine, but also make it clear that this means that those employees opt not to come to work.”
The current statistics of VI’s active COVID-19 infections is 821 as of 9:00 am today, July 8, 2021.