New Caledonia chief demands halt to vaccines

A high chief in New Caledonia has come out against compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations and demanded a halt to inoculations in his district.

Henri Dokucas Naisseline said the vaccination obligation deprives people of fundamental rights of freedom and respect for human dignity.

The high chief of the Gaumha district on the island of Mare has decided to stop the vaccination drive in all the tribes under his control, suggesting the vaccine is dangerous.

However, he said those who wish to get the vaccine can still get it.

In August, the government launched an inoculation campaign in the mainly Kanak Loyalty Islands, called Vacci'tribs, in the hope of vaccinating 80 percent of the population by January.

A month ago, New Caledonia's Congress unanimously voted to make vaccinations against Covid-19 mandatory, fearing the importation of the Delta variant.

Three days later, it was detected in the community and within a month, more than 8,000 people were infected of whom more than 150 died.