Hundreds of NHS and care home staff have formed a group opposed to vaccinations, wearing masks and testing in hospitals.
The group, NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine, has gained more than 250 Facebook members in a month. They include a GP, several accident and emergency nurses, healthcare assistants, lab workers, and private and public care home staff.
Matt Hancock slams NHS ‘anti-vaxxer’ group that compares Pfizer jab to ‘poison’ and is opposed to wearing masks and testing in hospitals after more than 300 workers sign up
- NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine surged in size
- The group compares the Pfizer jab to ‘poison’ and is opposed to wearing masks
- Members include GP worker, A&E nurses, healthcare assistants and lab workers
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock branded the group ‘entirely inappropriate’ today
- Four out of five want people who spread fake vaccine news to face prosecution
Matt Hancock has slammed more than 300 NHS workers and care home staff for joining an ‘anti-vaxxer’ group.
The Health Secretary branded Facebook page NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine ‘entirely inappropriate’.
Posts on the account compare the Pfizer jab to ‘poison’, some are opposed to wearing face coverings and others rail against testing in hospitals.
The group is reported to include Sheffield-based GP Julie Coffey – who has said she will not wear masks in shops – A&E nurses, healthcare assistants and lab workers.
But it has been slapped with a warning label telling people to visit the NHS website for advice on vaccinations.
It comes as anti-vaccine conspiracy theories are running rampant on social media sites – despite a promise by tech giants to halt their spread.
Meanwhile a survey found four out of five Britons want those who spread fake news about vaccines to face prosecution.
Hopes of another successful jab are soaring after scientists today began a trial to test it on 6,000 people in the UK.
In other coronavirus developments today:
- US pharmaceutical company Moderna today revealed its jab is 94.5 per cent effective – but the UK has not bought any of it;
- Boris Johnson insisted he can run the country by Zoom as he hit back at criticism of a maskless meeting with an infected Tory MP that has seen him self-isolate;
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed Britain is ‘working very closely’ with Pfizer to roll out the drug giant’s breakthrough vaccine from December;
- Coronavirus was circulating in Italy as early as September 2019 – months before the disease was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a study suggests;
- International flights between Australia and the UK will only resume when a vaccine starts being rolled out, Qantas boss Alan Joyce claimed;
- Baby boomers who missed out on holidays, sport and seeing friends during lockdown ‘spent the money they saved on alcohol instead’.
The Health Secretary (pictured today) branded Facebook page NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine ‘entirely inappropriate’
The group is reported to include Sheffield-based GP Julie Coffey (pictured), A&E nurses, healthcare assistants and lab workers+12
Pfizer and BioNTech have produced one of the world’s leading candidates for a coronavirus vaccine and have become the first to report early results from their final study
NHS Workers for Choice, No Restrictions for Declining a Vaccine is also against testing in hospitals and has surged in membership in the past month
The group (pictured) includes a doctor, A&E nurses, healthcare assistants and laboratory workers
Mr Hancock told Times Radio: ‘Being opposed to vaccinations where they have been through the rigorous safety processes is entirely inappropriate.
‘And I wouldn’t advise it for anybody, because we don’t propose, and allow vaccines in this country, unless they pass some of the most stringent safety requirements in the world.
‘Getting a vaccine – whether it’s for flu or hopefully for coronavirus – is something that not only protects you but protects the people around you. So it’s a really important step.’
The private Facebook group claims it was not started as an anti-vaxxer movement but was to help healthcare workers.
But a probe found members say the Pfizer vaccine, which has had positive initial results from its clinical trial, was ‘poison’ and a frozen virus waiting to be ‘unleashed’.