Protest-prayer was not against vaccines, but against abuses, organizers

The protest-prayer mounted yesterday in the Great National Assembly Square of Chisinau was not about the opportunity of vaccination in general, adverse events or other aspects of the vaccination against COVID-19, but about the harassment to which employees who decide not to get a vaccine are subjected, Elena Bâtcă, of the Orthodox Jurists’ Movement, which was one of the organizers of the August 3 protest, stated in a news conference at IPN.

According to the organizers, the protest-prayer involved about 200 church officials and more than 2,000 laypersons who weren’t necessarily all faithful. Alexandr Covalschi, of the public association AO “Planeta Curată”, which is another organizer of the event, expressed his indignation at the way in which some of the media outlets covered the protest.

“They said that “the protesters, who were mainly faithful people, protested against vaccines”. They presented this protest as an event against progress in general and against vaccines in particular, as if the faithful had particular unjustified fears,” he stated.

According to Elena Bâtcă, the key message of the protest was not an anti-vaccine one. “The goal of the protest was to encourage the doctors, students, teachers, public servants not to yield to the pressure exerted by directors,” she stated.

The organizers noted they were notified of multiple cases of harassment of employees to make them get vaccinated under the threat of losing the job, which came practically from all the districts of the Republic of Moldova. “This happens everywhere and the phenomenon is known by everyone,” said the representative of the Orthodox Jurists, noting the protest-prayer was aimed at attracting the authorities’ attention to this phenomenon.

Also, Elena Bâtcă said the event was aimed at warning employers about the legal consequences of eventual illegal dismissals. The Government was also warned to refrain from eventual legislative amendments that would make vaccination mandatory.

According to Alexandr Covalschi, the “harassment” of employees is also a consequence of the fact that the employers abusively interpret provisions of a recent Government decision that recommends them to create favorable conditions for vaccination. The Moldovan authorities do not speak enough about the risks posed by the vaccines against COVID-19 and hide statistics about post-vaccination complications.

The messages disseminated by the organizers of the news conference generated interest and comments on the Facebook page of IPN Agency.

International public health expert Ala Tocarciuc put a question to the organizers and then left a comment:

Question: Good day! You spoke about discrimination against non-vaccinated persons at work. My question is: is a vaccinated person, when this goes to work and there are non-vaccinated persons there, subject to the risk of contracting COVID-19? How can this person protect himself/herself from discrimination on the part of non-vaccinated persons?!

Comment: I asked directly, but I didn’t get an answer. They avoided giving an answer. In fact, we see clear communication aimed against vaccination. It is a protest against vaccination veiled by communication about “discrimination” and violation of rights. I consider the media correctly interpreted the event.

Among the persons who posted their opinions on the issue was Andrei Eremia, deputy head of Ialoveni district:

“The vaccine is not treatment, but is an attempt to prevent infection. If we compare the risk of COVID and the risk of infection, I think COVID is much riskier. However, each person should decide independently whether to get a vaccine or not…”

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