Antigua and Barbuda government faces legal challenges to its vaccine mandate

The Gaston Browne led administration in Antigua and Barbuda is under pressure from unions and public sector workers, after its vaccination mandate last week.

According to the regulation, all government employees, including teachers, must get vaccinated by October 1 or remain at home unpaid for the period in which they fail to comply.

In fact, there are hundreds of public sector workers who are currently at home since they are not vaccinated.

This is due to the fact that an unvaccinated employee who attends work would be in violation of the Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease) (Amendment) (No. 16) rules 2021, and would be subject to a $500.00 fine or imprisonment for up to one month.

Browne said he will hire other vaccinated people to replace them.

So far, three workers unions in Antigua and Barbuda have sought legal counsel in an effort to challenge the government’s vaccine mandate.

Last Friday, the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association (ABPSA) filed a lawsuit contesting the latest Covid-19 vaccination requirement.

That union is petitioning the court for Judicial Review of the Government’s policy and changes to the Public Health Act (Dangerous Infectious Disease) Regulations, arguing they are arbitrary, irrational, and disproportionate, among other things.

The association is also requesting that the policy be “stayed” until the case is resolved in the High Court.

The Antigua and Barbuda Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) on the other hand said it had received legal counsel and has begun the process to challenge the Government’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy, but encouraged its unvaccinated members to stay at home until the matter was settled.

And the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) stated that it will continue to study and debate the issue of forced vaccination “with our legal representatives in order to pursue any viable legal challenges.”

All this comes as the Freedom Fighters of Antigua and Barbuda is planning a major protest, challenging the latest policy.

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32 Comments

  1. lmckoy
    September 28, 2021

    One may have the right to refuse to be vaccinated but not to get infected and pass on the virus to others. In addition, if you refuse to take the vaccine and become seriously ill from Covid, who do you think should cover the cost of your treatments and maybe your funeral?

    • Slave Master
      September 28, 2021

      Many people who took the vaccine were tricked, intimidated, forced, pressured, lied to, misinformed and if that is your reasoning for why a person should take it then you just added one more to my list.

  2. Lin clown
    September 28, 2021

    I support DS 100% these AHOLES like % and IBOOOOOO DON”t read.Dr Ahamed told the world that all COVID-19 deaths in Dominica are UNVACCINATED.The problem with the UWP people is that they are prophets of misinformation and lies.Yesterday 450 people were vaccinated,Dominicans(majority)do not listen to AHOLES,that is why Skerrit is winning and will continue to win election after election.With all the account THEY SAY Skerrit cannot account for money the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY continue to pour money into Dominica.Mr.DS the UWP is unable to tell us,if not for their high-level of stupidity what caused them to lose 1,163 votes in the 2019 election.

  3. boto
    September 28, 2021

    Way-to-go.. Antigua! It’s time for us to resist. They can’t arrest all of us, They can’t keep all of your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed. WE WILL MAKE OUR OWN HEALTH CHOICES. We will not show you a passport. We will not wear a mask, we will not be forced into random screenings and random testings so you can continue your drunk-with-power reign over us!
    F r e e d o m

  4. Slave Master
    September 28, 2021

    Antigua and many other Caribbean countries are proving that they are not independent countries. These so-called independent countries cannot sustain their economy because they depend more on imports than exports. They disguise their independence with tourism but the reality is they cannot survive without depending mostly on others.

    So when these people say to get vaccinated or else we are not coming to your shores, what choice do these so-called independent countries have than to force their so called so-called independent people to forcefully take shots like slaves.

    Slavery has not yet been abolished, it has only evolved. So why do they boast their independence?

  5. Tt
    September 27, 2021

    Don’t see why people getting all upset over mandates. You see if there wasn’t internet and social media yall would just accept that there is a vaccine u got to take.

    You got to have all your vaccines before u can get a green card. Don’t hear no one challenging that. You get you measles mumps rubella vaccines, no one challenging that. A few people holding the world hostage that makes no sense.

  6. Mark
    September 27, 2021

    Remember folks, Antigua is highly dependant on tourism so Mr. Browne is going to do whatever it takes and rightly so to get those tourists dollars back on island.
    Also, it is my understanding that Antigua is home to thousands of Dominican nationals who are predominantly employed in the hospitality business so let’s not do anything to jeopardize their livelihood.

  7. Mark
    September 27, 2021

    %…it is as simple as that. Corporations do it all the time. They cut long serving employees and bring in cheaper ones and the companies just keep on trucking. It is silly to think that experienced employees are the only ones capable of performing a task. No one is indispensable.
    On the contrary, new blood brings a fresh new look to the table so it may not be a bad thing if Mr. Browne allows some of his seasoned employees to exit the workforce.

    • %
      September 28, 2021

      @Mark
      It’s just as silly, stupid and idiotic to believe that new blood will not sink your enterprise.So it goes both ways!!.

  8. LifeandDeath
    September 27, 2021

    One must wonder whether it is by sheer coincidence that Gaston’s moustache resembles that of the late great Dictator Adolf Hitler.

  9. I’ll take a Vac A tion.
    September 27, 2021

    Isn’t poverty a pandemic? It has caused billions of death worldwide and it keeps on killing. What are these crazy and evil world leaders doing about it? When a mother of a starving child holds in her arms, her child breathing its last breath because of poverty and starvation, these devil worshipers and so called “world leaders” simply turns a blind eye and could care less. My children hold State government and City jobs and were forced to take the vaccine. They didn’t have a choice! With mortgages, student loans and fancy car payments. But me? I ain’t taking it if they paid me a million dollars. I love this old saying, “have none cares for none.” Ain’t got no fancy lifestyle to keep up with. No one in the medical field makes any mention of side effects. But when doc prescribed a table for headache the side effects are numerous. Like constipation, blurred vision, increase heart rate, sore throats etc. The vaccine could be loaded with what they don’t know or tell you of.

  10. Ibo France
    September 27, 2021

    Too many ruling political parties in government take an exclusionary approach to governing instead of an inclusive approach.

    Listening to the utterances of Gaston Browne not only on the mandatory vaccination but on other issues, you have to hang your head in shame and despair as a Caribbean citizen.

    The nastiest, most indecent, most unthinkable foolishness flows off this man’s germ-laden tongue. You can only describe his behaviour by using negative, superlative adjectives.

    How could any sane elector elect and re-elect such abusive, ignoble, tyrannical and totalitarian non-entities to the highest elective, public office? Unbelievable!

    • September 27, 2021

      You seem to have a lot of hate and envy in you of elected officials and that for you, Lennox Linton is the answer to the day to day problems we all are confronted with. I believe you live on dreams that will disappoint you each time but, it is only a lunatic and a loco like you who will write such garbage as the above that will have no effect whatsoever on the electorate. You are just as crazy as Lennox is and as foolish as an a…hole can be. Learn to grow up and accept life for what it is. There is nothing you can do to make this world a better place but just keep spewing garbage on DNO. Do you have a real job to dedicate you time and efforts to?

      • PeoplePower
        September 28, 2021

        I hate dictators and the misery they inflict on their own people. Look how Switzerland goes about things, everything is put to the people and guess what, there isn’t a single franc missing in the state coffers. The accounting is totally transparent. Wouldn’t all you rather live in a Caribbean island like that???

    • Evil
      September 27, 2021

      See his mustache? Like that of Adolf Hit&ler :twisted:
      Some people emulate their idols.

    • %
      September 27, 2021

      @ Ibo
      Gaston will surely face the wrath of the already enraged Antiguan electorate.

      • September 27, 2021

        Why don’t you and IBO FRANCE become a Prime Minister and the world will then become a better place to live in? All you do is criticize and, you don’t have the answer for anything. You both are full of animosity and hate for elected officials. Tell us what can you do better to make the world a safer place to live in?

        • Ibo France
          September 28, 2021

          You asked, this is what I would do:
          Put an immediate end to corruption. Share the country’s resources equitably. Be inclusive in major national developments. Ensure that transparency and accountability, these two in particular, are given high priority. Ensure that the rule of law is an essential part of governance. Engage in servant leadership not dictatorship. Adopt a good governance agenda – place impartial persons in the seats of president, Speaker of parliament, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecution, permanent secretaries, etc.

          Do you need more? Create policies to enable all Dominicans to empower themselves and fulfill their fullest potential. That’s just a small sample.

    • Colombo
      September 27, 2021

      You dumb idiots. Do you take vaccines when you were born? Don’t you take vaccines to travel to other people countries? All laws that are on the books that affect human lies are called Mandates? When people vote for a government to be in power, you called that mandate. You are mandated to wear seat belts, not to have sex with an under child, you can’t drink and drive etc. Then all those people that took the vaccines are supporting the Antigua government. If that true, then the Gaston Brown administration will win again in a landslide. The Union’s have moneys to waste for going to court. They are going to loose badly. They will be some lawyers rich. By the way, the government of Antigua have done the right and correct thing. By the way, I beg you Naysayers to protect yourself and love one’s from this deadly Virus. Vaccination have always work.

      • boto
        September 28, 2021

        It’s not a vaccine. A vaccine by definition provides immunity to a disease. This does not provide immunity to anything. In a best-case scenario, it merely reduces the chance of getting a severe case of a virus if one catches it. Hence, it is a medical treatment, not a vaccine. I do not want to take a medical treatment for an illness I do not have.

  11. Mark
    September 27, 2021

    Waiting For Airport….such an irresponsible statement. What evidence do you have of such payments?
    Let’s see the facts.

    • Waiting For Airport
      September 27, 2021

      Go research the growing numbers of people who have already died from this vaccine.

      Right here in DA, we saw a recent death spike, multiple relatively young people died randomly including a very well loved priest. To date, our authorities refuse to publish their vaccination status. why? Just because you are docile enough not to challenge your official government narrative does not change the facts.

      There is footage from the house of parliament in the UK where specifics stats are quoted detailing multiple deaths and extreme health reactions after vaccines.

      In the US the centre for adverse reactions has recorded multiple deaths and extreme reactions.

      Health professionals all over the world have quit their jobs because of the reality they see when people have taken it.

      Multiple pregnant women have had still births or lost babies. Multiple women report problems with their menstrual cycles.

      This all adds up to genocide and Skerro, Browne and all the other leaders are…

  12. Waiting For Airport
    September 27, 2021

    Stay strong Antigua, fight for your right, do not submit to this genocidal agenda. We support you in your fight against these wicked leaders who take money in return for the lives of their population!

  13. Interested
    September 27, 2021

    I have a question, if a foreign country puts in place laws barring persons who are not vaccinated from entering that country, what will the unvaccinated person do. Will they decide not to travel to that country or take legal action against that country. Sounds like a crazy question, but if this does happen, what next.

    • Channel 1
      September 27, 2021

      @Interested – Once it is not Heaven’s Immigration Department that implements any vaccine mandate to get into Heaven, then…..uummmm…..ah well…

      … the unvaccinated, who may very well at this time make up a significant majority of the 7 billion plus people resident on Earth, will just spend their money elsewhere nuh.

      We’ll see how long these discriminatory, heavily-reliant-on-consumer-spending countries will be able to sustainably maintain their Covid vaccine immigration coercion stunts for.

      Here’s an example from within the Caribbean of what this ‘vaccinated-only’ foolishness has caused – https://www.nationnews.com/2021/09/02/uk-tour-company-cuts-ties-hotels/

      #OrdinaryPeoplePower

  14. Marcolm
    September 27, 2021

    I do admire the guts of the Antiguans and also their civil maturity. In DA they allow one little man to trample all over them and even allow him to thief of them. Sad people…

  15. Mark
    September 27, 2021

    Browne’s decision to replace workers who do not comply with his administrations’ new policy is the correct one. This pandemic is causing major problems to Antigua therefore drastic measures are being called for. He is not trying to punish anyone but rather save his island from total collapse. Exemptions will be given to those individuals with a valid reason.
    Of course, some of us will view this as punishment and an infringement on personal rights and freedoms but sometimes, a seemingly unpopular action is what’s required to get a handle on things.
    KUDOS to Gaston Browne for his bold leadership in that regard.

    • %
      September 27, 2021

      @Mark
      Pure nonsense!!
      Do you support mediocrity? You have an experienced teacher, or nurse or doctor teaching for 20yrs for example and delivering the goods,,,, ,,, you think its just a question of replacing that teacher…???? Replace with whom????
      Brown must go back and rehire all those people.
      Gaston is as sick as your sick comment!!!

      • Channel 1
        September 27, 2021

        @% – Wonderful observation. Gaston by his own irrational edicts runs the risk of destabilizing & collapsing the very operations and functioning of key sectors of the Antiguan government and economy if even a small majority of public servants & Co decide to unify and resist his edicts.

        Some people seem to think that one can just replace overnight large numbers of persons in critical jobs such as the police, immigration officers, health care workers, teachers, technocrats in the public service etc forgetting these jobs require significant training, time & investment for effective functioning.

        Imagine for example having ‘inexperienced newcomers’ manning your immigration scanning machines, passport control…..(frightening)

        Great question you asked – Replace with whom???

        Gaston is digging a deep pit for his own self and government. Some would say let him finish dig it. Madness 101.

    • D.Vaccinated!
      September 27, 2021

      Mark, I Absolutely agree with you and he also has a precedent in is favour from a court submission in Toronto, Canada where a Private company won against the Union there and that I am sure he is fully aware of.
      It is called a Pandemic for a reason..if it was Ebola, every Tom,.Dick and Harry would beg for any kind of vaccine even if it was 1 week old in the making. So although I surely don’t necessarily agree with everything the PM is doing, as far as this is concerned, he is 100% correct.

    • Markus
      September 28, 2021

      Mark, you just confirmed what I knew all along that you are not right in your head.

  16. Channel 1
    September 27, 2021

    Oh, this is absolutely wonderful. Excellent. Well done to the unions & resistance movement(s) in Antigua.

    #ResistCovidVaccineTotalitarianism

    #OrdinaryPeoplePower

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