A Canadian mother has accused her ex-husband of absconding with their seven-year-old daughter in order to keep the girl from getting vaccinated against Covid-19.
Mariecar Jackson, an educational assistant from Regina, Saskatchewan, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that she is searching for her daughter, the broadcaster reported on Wednesday.
She claimed to have last seen the seven-year-old about two months ago when she had gone to visit her father at his home in Carievale village.
The mother said she last spoke to her daughter on 21 November.
The girl’s father, Michael Jackson, meanwhile gave an interview to a conservative web show called “Live with Laura Lynn” last week.
The episode was titled “Dad on the run as ex-wife says she will obey the government and vaccinate her 7 year old child”.
Appearing from an undisclosed location, the father defended his actions and said: “Even if there’s a one in a million chance that your daughter could, not even die, but there’s a one in a million chance she couldn’t have a baby, wouldn’t that be enough?”
Mr Jackson appears to have been referring to conspiracy theories that Covid-19 vaccines might impact fertility, which have been spread by some high-profile figures throughout the pandemic. Studies have found no data linking Covid vaccines to infertility and experts say the benefits of vaccination “outweigh any known or potential risks”.
Mr Jackson said he had been trying to get in touch with his ex-wife for over a month before the vaccine was approved, asking her about her position.
“She would not get back to me. And according to our court order, she has the final say in the medical issues with our daughter. So, I had no authority in that department,” said Mr Jackson.
He claimed, however, that the custody agreement said there has to be a discussion.
So when Mr Jackson had his daughter over for a long weekend in November and he heard the vaccine has been approved for five to 11-year-old children, he said he decided to keep their daughter with him, as he knew the child’s mother supported the move.
“I couldn’t let it happen,” he said.
The minor was also put in front of the camera to deliver a statement.
“It can change your DNA. I don’t believe God wants me to. And it can make you sick and kill you,” said the girl.
Ms Jackson’s lawyer Jill Drennan said she believed the father was not in the community anymore.
“She [the daughter] could be out of province,” she said.
Saskatchewan judges have issued two court orders directing the father to return the girl to the mother.
Police, however, found no one at his Carievale residence when they went to enforce the court orders.