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LETTERS: ‘Reconsider vaccine mandate’

Friday 12 August 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion


LETTERS: ‘Reconsider vaccine mandate’

Dear Editor, from what I understand, in order to visit or live in your beautiful islands, you have to be vaccinated. Now, why is that?

I lived on that beautiful Island for many, many years. My son was born there, I owned the Portofino Restaurant, MaiTai Cafe, and South Pacific Sailing Tours. Then after six years of leaving the island, I came back, and unfortunately, I had to bury my best friend Boye Nicholas before I came back to the States.

One day soon there will be a true vaccine for this China Virus (Covid-19).

I got the virus in its first stages and yes, I was sick as a dog but I survived and built up human immunity (the best immunity humans can have). Then I got it again BA.5 mild flue symptoms. My doctor recommends that I don’t get vaccinated due to me having pure human immunity to this virus, rather than putting that mRNA in my body due to all the scientific information that is now coming out.

Understand the death rate when it first arrived in the States – most of all deaths were contributed to the elderly and people that had health underlining conditions.

There’s still more than 20 per cent of people in the US that haven’t gotten the vaccine, I don’t know the worldly percentage (62.8 per cent fully vaccinated). My point is that the government needs to lift the mandate of being vaccinated to visit or live on Raro. If you have been vaccinated you still can get sick and die (if you’re old or have underlining health conditions) which makes sense. But being vaccinated you still get the virus and you still transmit it.

If the Cook Island Government allows unvaccinated people to visit the most beautiful island in the world with the most loving and caring people in the world as well, it definitely would help tourism which is the most important thing to generate jobs for all the locals.

I sure do miss all my Cook Islands Maori friends.

Gene Tonkovich

United States

For the love…! We would take almost any route to get there. We’re in the States, and are heartbroken that the LA flight was discontinued. We are heartbroken for the friends we have made in the islands whose businesses continue to suffer. We would go to great lengths to come back, but we are essentially banned from entering. I am unable to get the vaccine because of serious health issues. So, until the vaccine mandate is lifted, we will have to find other destinations that want our money.

Kendra Ruzicka Stone



Heather Worth on 12/08/2022

The reason the Cook Islands want visitors to be vaccinated is not to stop Omicron coming in but to ensure the health system is not burdened by very sick patients. The overwhelming evidence is that those who are not vaccinated are more likely to be hospitalised and more likely to die. Does anyone coming to the Cook Islands really want to potentially put a stress on our health system? Professor Heather Worth Te Puna Vai Marama Cook Islands Centre for Research USP, Cook Islands