‘No confidence in vaccination’
Sunshine Girl withdraws from England tour
NATIONAL SENIOR netball player, Shannika Johnson, has ruled herself out of the Sunshine Girls’ upcoming three-Test tour against England later this month after she decided against taking the COVID-19 vaccine. As part of the protocols that have been...
NATIONAL SENIOR netball player, Shannika Johnson, has ruled herself out of the Sunshine Girls’ upcoming three-Test tour against England later this month after she decided against taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
As part of the protocols that have been agreed to by Netball Jamaica and the England Netball Association, all players must be fully vaccinated in order to participate in the series.
However, Johnson told The Sunday Gleaner that she does not feel comfortable taking the vaccine, which has ruled her out of the tour.
“I feel comfortable with it (decision) because I think it is the best decision in my opinion, based on the research and based on the fact that I have no confidence yet in the vaccination programme,” said Johnson.
“I think that when you believe that it is the best decision in your own interest, then at the end of the day, it is what you think is best for you and your happiness because there is life after netball,” she said.
SERIES TO START NOV 28
The series is scheduled to get under way on November 28 at the Copper Box Arena in London, with the second and third games scheduled for December 4 and 5, respectively, at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
The 35-year-old Johnson is quite new to the Sunshine Girls set-up, having made her debut for the national senior team at the Nations Cup in England in 2020. She also suited up for the Sunshine Girls in their tri-series against Trinidad and Tobago on home soil in October.
A former netball representative at The Manning’s School, Johnson, who is also a Christian, underscored her move will have a negative effect on her netball career, but said she is at peace with her decision.
“Well yes, if the entire world makes it mandatory and the sporting fraternity makes it mandatory for us to be vaccinated then yes, that will make me not eligible to ever participate in sports again,” said Johnson, who is a teacher by profession.
“It will affect me because it means, therefore, that I will not be able to play any more,” she said.
“Personally, it will have an effect on me, you always want to represent your country, it is your pride and joy so I am disappointed. But we all have to make our decisions and sometimes the decisions that we make will affect some things that we love,” Johnson said.
President of Netball Jamaica, Tricia Robinson, said Johnson has made her decision and her association respects that, and they wish her all the best in the future.
“I think every individual has the right to make a choice, and that is her choice and we have to respect that,” said Robinson.
She pointed out that her organisation is committed to playing its role in ensuring that everyone is educated about the benefits of taking the vaccine.
“Similarly to how it affects the nation and how it affects the workplaces, persons and institutions have their rules and policies in place, as we move towards that direction we will see how it unfolds in the near future,” Robinson said.