Anti-vaccination content on social media is “poison” and “garbage”, Labour has said.
Labour wants the Government to bring forward laws that would include financial and criminal penalties for social media firms that fail to act against “dangerous” anti-vaccination content.
The anti-vaccination content varies from suggestions that the vaccine is a means of inserting microchips into the population, altering our DNA or even a weapon of genocide, including claims of a depopulation programme masterminded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Last week, BioNTech and co-developers Pfizer said the preliminary analysis showed their vaccine could prevent more than 90% of people from suffering from Covid-19.
During an interview with Sky News, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said he thinks a vaccine is a “great hope for the coming months”, and that Labour wishes to work with the Government on a “cross-party basis” to help tackle the “dangerous nonsense” spreading on social media.
The Shadow Health Secretary is calling for “strong public health messaging”, given that people will have “legitimate questions” about the vaccine, to help “allay” any fears.
Mr Ashworth also called for a mobilisation of the NHS and public health infrastructure to resource them properly, so they can “get the vaccine out quickly”.
Piers Morgan has expressed his delight regarding the news of the vaccine and is fully on board with the breakthrough. He took to Twitter to share his view on the matter:
To all the anti-vaxxer Covidiots predictably now screaming that they won’t have the jab, let me say this:
a) If it’s approved then I will have it done live on TV.
b) If you refuse to have it then no more flying for you, and no using the NHS if you get covid. Deal?
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 10, 2020
A Government spokesperson said: “Letting vaccine disinformation spread unchecked could cost British lives. We take this issue extremely seriously and have secured a major commitment from Facebook, Twitter and Google to tackle it by not profiting from such material, and by responding to flagged content more swiftly.”