A local parent has voiced his anger after seeing signs warning children about vaccines erected near a school on Wellington Road during “rush hour”.
Carl Walker said the signs were “bang on” outside the exit for Beaulieu School and were only removed “as soon as the last child left the school”.
He said he believed they had been erected during the school rush hour so that they would be seen by as many students as possible, as well as from students from De La Salle, and possibly Hautlieu and Highlands, as they travelled down Wellington Road.
While we all have a right to protest, I think it’s wholly irresponsible for individuals to attempt to scare our Island’s youngsters about the vaccine - telling them they may go blind, have a heart attack or die if they have it! This was Wellington Hill today. I really am shocked. pic.twitter.com/4Gv7BLRyC8— Consumer Carl (@CarlWalker7) September 22, 2021
The sign protest comes just days before covid vaccination for 12 to 15-year-olds begins.
Last week, the Government announced that from Monday 27 September, they will be able to get a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine with written parental consent.
In cases where a child wants the vaccine but their parent does not want them to get it, the Government said they would work with healthcare professionals and the parents to ensure informed consent was given on a case-by-case basis.
A protest was also previously held near a vaccination pop-up centre at Springfield.
Mr Walker said he had never seen any such signs in the area before and had felt so “angry” at their presence that he took to Twitter to share a picture.
“I just felt very angry at the tactic being used by these individuals,” he said. “I would absolutely defend anybody’s right to protest, it is an important part of our democracy, but in my view, attempting to frighten children about becoming blind or having a heart attack is wholly irresponsible.
As a parent and an islander, he said it wasn’t right to put placards with “such strong messaging” without crediting it to any “reliable or credible source”.
“I heard a lot of children talking about it so they have already achieved what they wanted to achieve, but there must be better, constructive ways of engaging with youngsters and get them to make life choices, whether it’s through debate or education,” he said.
“Why not properly engage with the Government or the medical professions and suggest a debate or an online debate as long as there are rules that everybody agrees to? There is nothing wrong with having a debate, people can choose to log in or not, it’s up to them to attend.”
Asked about recent protests relating to the covid-19 vaccine, Dr Ivan Muscat, the Deputy Medical Officer for Health, said it was “important” to recognise misinformation when it is “touted” in front of us.
Pictured: Dr Ivan Muscat, the Deputy Medical Officer for Health.
“It is important to ensure that we do not give misinformation undue attention and magnify it and give it credence, because that will invariably affect decision-making and harm the health of our public,” he added.
“There is no doubt that vaccination has turned the whole complexion, the whole climate, of covid around, and we’ve seen this not just in Jersey and the UK, but worldwide.
"With something so powerfully beneficial to the population, we should use it.”
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