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Opposition should not play politics with vaccinations – 321/2021

By April 23, 2021 No Comments

The Opposition clearly have nothing better to do than to keep on repeating the same thing again and again, day after day, without regard or understanding for the points that the Government has made.

The Government has repeatedly explained that the reason unvaccinated visitors are not allowed into hospital or into elderly care facilities is based on public health and medical considerations and that the matter is under constant review. Given that the Opposition are not experts in any of this, it will surprise nobody that their constant repetitions add precious little to the debate.

The Government fully respects the right of an individual to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. However, it also has a duty to minimise the risk to patients or elderly persons in its care. The feedback that the Government has received from families of service users themselves is that they wish to keep their relatives as safe as possible and not expose them to any unnecessary risk.

This suggests that the Opposition are simply blowing up this issue out of all proportion for their own political ends. Indeed, it smacks of sour grapes that they should seek to cloud the incredible success of the vaccination programme in adopting positions which seek to undermine it.

The figures show that a total of over 67,000 vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered in Gibraltar, through the hard work and dedication of GHA staff. This positive story has grabbed the news headlines all over the world and the Government is very grateful to all those who have made it happen.

This means that the vast majority of people have had the vaccine. There are genuine cases of persons unable to have it administered for medical reasons and alternative vaccines have been sourced for such instances.

There are other cases where persons simply do not want to be vaccinated, which is their right. This does not detract from the fact that there are comparatively few unvaccinated citizens in Gibraltar who have family in ERS or in the GHA and who want to visit them. In fact, the category has narrowed even further now that special arrangements are being made in a number of circumstances, for example, for pregnant women who cannot be vaccinated, visits to patients in end of life situations and where the unvaccinated visitor has had COVID-19 up to six months before the visit. The Government fully sympathise with the reduced number of people who may find themselves in this category, but the Opposition should not be allowed to play politics with their difficult predicament.