In an effort to allay the fears of the public, Area Representative for the Cayo South constituency explains that there is a system in place in the villages that make up the division. He says the system is geared at keeping the residents informed and to facilitate them in the vaccination process.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “We have a system in Cayo South where our elected leaders, our village council chairman, have taken command along with DAVCO and they have been organizing with the Ministry of Health there’s a schedule in place for them to visit all villages. Cayo South is a little different whereas we are very close to an urban area which is Belmopan so we share some of the resources with them so they go to the villages in the community center and some of the villagers get vaccinated there and then we tend to travel to Belmopan on a daily basis so a large majority get the vaccination in Belmopan itself. But it’s going fairly well I haven’t received much complaints. The anti vaxxers are there , they have their as I’ve been saying this is a democracy everybody has a right to their own opinion and so that’s how we’re handling it.”
As it relates to the antivaxxers, Espat says there are a few of them in the Cayo South area but that he merely chalks it up to democracy with everyone having a right to their views and opinions.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “Well there are two things, everybody has a right to their opinion, government has a right to protect its citizens and we are basing our decision on science it’s not just hearsay or I got up this morning and I believe good for me. We have to look for the wellbeing of everybody and so government is having a responsibility to do that and so I don’t have anything against people voicing their opinions and they have access to you I supposed, the internet is free for all and that’s the one that’s spreading the most. I believe it’s healthy when people express their opinions even if it’s against what a government’s decision is. Now when you take it a step further and you make it a violent decision now that’s another thing but please understand that government’s responsibility is to look out for you, for him, for me, for everybody and being vaccinated is something that’s beneficial to the entire society.”
Reporter: How would you respond to the criticism that government is trying to shove the vaccine down people’s throats, making it mandatory like giving an ultimatum either you take the vaccination or you come up with this money every month to get two PCR tests.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “That’s not mandatory, that’s giving you options. You either have to work as a front line worker to protect the interest of the country and yourself and the people coming in or you don’t want to work so it’s not mandatory.”
Reporter: But how would you view it ? I mean we’re in an economic crisis, you have people who might not be able to afford two PCR tests for the month but they don’t want to get vaccinated.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “Well that’s a choice. You either work with a vaccination or you pay for the test, it’s your choice.”
Reporter: But then do you see that perhaps down the road you might lose employment because when you can’t afford to take the test and two you don’t want the vaccine.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “Well if you can’t afford it then take the vaccine. It’s a simple decision in my point of view. We have to do what is important to protect the economy of this country, to protect the health of our people so we have to be responsible and we are giving you options. Either you vaccinate or you pay for the test. I don’t see it as anything really absurd.”