Anti-vaccine Disorder

A crowd of people, majority being adult and young men, children and a few women gathered at 10am today to march to Parliament in protest over the COVID-19 vaccines, which they claim to be mandatory.

The activity was a result of a viral notice circulating on social media about a “peaceful protest march” planned for today, Monday 1 November 2021, over mandatory vaccination.

Despite assurances from Controller of the Pandemic Response and Police Commissioner, David Manning that the notice circulated is false and misleading because vaccination is not mandatory and still remains a personal choice.

The anti-vaccine crowd disobeyed advice from the Police to disperse. Instead, they took to the Gordon bus stop, gained momentum from others who joined them and attempted to march through a residential street towards the Wardstrip Primary School road and onto Parliament.

However, their attempts were thwarted by Police who blocked the exist in order to speak rationale into the crowd who disregarded social distancing and masks.

NCD/Central Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Anthony Wagambie Jnr, addressed the crowd. He said their concerns have already been heard.   

It was not clear who the organizer (s) of the march was. ACP Wagambie explained that the march had to be ceased by Police to ensure no other disorder stemmed from it that would endanger the safety of others in the entire city.

The anti-vaxxers carried a banner with a message of ‘666’ and ‘artificial intelligence’.

It is clear that misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines currently override the amount of genuine information available to the average Papua New Guinean and thus, is allowing for fear and confusion to gain momentum.

Marysilla Kellerton