I beg to move,
That this House has considered e-petition 323442, relating to vaccination for Covid-19.
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir David. The petition is entitled,
“Prevent any restrictions on those who refuse a Covid-19 vaccination”.
To date, more than 307,000 people have signed it, including 641 from my constituency. It states:
“I want the Government to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine. This includes restrictions on travel, social events, such as concerts or sports. No restrictions whatsoever. You cannot force someone to have a vaccination, and should not be able to coerce them into it by way of restrictions. We have to the right to assess the risk ourselves as we have done in the past.”
The Government’s reply states categorically:
“There are currently no plans to place restrictions on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine.”
So there we are. I quite agree that, in a modern liberal democracy, the state cannot and should not force someone to put something into their body, nor should it introduce punitive measures against those who refuse to do so. The Government have confirmed in their reply that they have no such intention, but rather than leaving it at that I will make some remarks. As the petition gives us the opportunity to discuss vaccinations, I will urge people to get the vaccine when their time comes. In doing so, I will offer reassurance about the safety of not just this vaccine but others, which also go through rigorous trials before being distributed to the public. I also want to dispel some of the myths about vaccinations.