Shelagh Fogarty's fiery clash with caller condemning Covid passports

20 July 2021, 16:21

By Tim Dodd

This is the moment Shelagh Fogarty clashed with a caller who rejected the idea of Covid passports and wants "equal freedoms" for unvaccinated people.

It comes as the Prime Minister faces a backlash over his plans to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory for nightclubs and other crowded venues from the autumn.

Speaking from self-isolation on so-called "freedom day", Mr Johnson warned venues with large crowds that they must make full vaccination a requirement of entry from the end of September.

Caller Leah told Shelagh: "I think we have to be very careful about steps towards an authoritarian attitude. Something like vaccines - it needs to be the choice of the individual taking it or not taking it. If I choose not to take a vaccine I should have the autonomy over my own body to do so."

Shelagh agreed with autonomy over one's body, countering: "But sometimes in this world there are consequences for things and if a particular venue, supported by the government, says while this pandemic is on and while we're trying to keep rates down whilst also allowing the economy and life to run a little bit, this is what we're going to require of you.

"Can you live with that for a few months?"

Read more: Caller bans 'selfish' anti-vaxxer son from house over Covid infection fears

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Leah replied: "Absolutely not... I don't want to be forced or excluded."

Shelagh then reasoned with Leah: "I do not think you should be forced to be vaccinated. But I do think, I'm afraid, that in the middle of a pandemic that is still so deadly and dangerous to human life and human health that you do have to accept that if we want freedoms... then there are consequences to choices that we make."

Leah fired back: "But when does the pandemic end? I heard you saying earlier that it's going to end next year with a lot of confidence. I don't know if you're on any sort of biological science team or anything like that but how can you say that?"

"If it's active in the world then surely because of travel it can impact the UK, no?"

Shelagh attempted to respond, eventually saying: "You don't like listening Leah. You have said I have said things I have not said. When I try and give you the accurate thing I've said, you do not want to hear it so come on, what do you want?

"Of course the pandemic can impact Britain, but we also have measures to control our own situation here.

"If we get a largely double-vaccinated population, not by forcing anyone, we can bring greater protection to ourselves, greater levels of freedom to ourselves and there'll come a point where we judge all restrictions other than international travel concerns to be low or completely over.

"That is what I mean by ending [the pandemic] here... That's a reality, you might not like it, but that's a reality."

Read more: More than one million children missed school last week for Covid-related reasons

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