Call for sanctions against 'irresponsible' people who refuse vaccine

The husband of a councillor who died of Covid has called for sanctions against people who refuse to be vaccinated against the virus.

Rob Hevican and his late wife Sandra (inset)
Rob Hevican and his late wife Sandra (inset)

Rob Hevican said too many people were "not being responsible" by declining the jab and called for measures to be brought in to stop unvaccinated people from "mixing around" in public.

Mr Hevican's wife Sandra, who represented Tividale on Sandwell Council, died in March after testing positive for Covid the previous month.

He said: "I completely understand that if people don't want to be vaccinated then that is their choice. But they also have a duty of care.

"If they are not willing to get vaccinated to protect everyone else then they need to be sanctioned.

"I would say to people, if you don't want to be vaccinated, that's fine, but don't expect to be allowed to go out mixing around.

"They should not be allowed to put other people's health and lives at risk."

He added that with vaccines readily available "no one should now be in a position where they can pass [Covid] onto other people".

"All the evidence would suggest the vaccine is harmless, but unfortunately some people are not being responsible and are only caring about themselves."

Mr Hevican, who stood unsuccessfully for Labour in his wife's old seat in a by-election in July, criticised the Government for a "clear lack of planning" in its response to the pandemic.

Responding to a select committee report on the matter, he said "most people" knew at the time that the first lockdown had been called too late.

He said it was clear that spread of the virus had been made worse by restrictions such as mask wearing in shops not been strictly enforced.

"It is difficult to say if my wife would still be alive if the Government had got its act together," he said.

"But the Government did not go far enough to look after people.

"Goodness knows what the winter is going to bring, what with flu coming back. If Covid does come back to bite us we could end up back at square one.

"It is too little, too late, all the time."

Ministers have hit back at the report, saying the Government and its scientists did what they could with the information available at the time.

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