Vanuatu Govt halts vaccine protest march

The Vanuatu Government has pulled the plug on a planned march yesterday in Port Vila to protest the rules around COVID-19 vaccines, specifically vaccination of children.

The protestors, involving church and youth groups, had claimed they had been given the go-ahead to stage the march by the Police Commissioner, Robson Ivaro.

But Wednesday they met with the deputy prime minister Ishmael Kalsakau, who told them that the march couldn’t go ahead because it was politically motivated.

He said MPs Andrew Napuat and John Salong, who last week called for changes to the vaccine protocols, are behind the march.

The marchers are opposed to the mandatory requirement for everyone to get the vaccine and say their constitutional rights are being ignored.

They claim people have been killed by the vaccines and that prayer and herbal remedies will protect the people.

The president of a youth group, called Vanuatu Indigenous Empowerment, Damelip Vantenkon, said he assured Kalsakau their application for a march had nothing to do with politics but concerns the youth, who are the future of Vanuatu.

He said mandatory vaccination takes away the rights of the parents over their child.

Vantenkon says over one thousand youths from Port Vila and around the island of Efate were ready to peacefully march today with banners. He said hundreds of T-shirts and banners had been printed.