Hi, I’m George Allison and I’m the Editor of the UK Defence Journal and I want to say something.

I had my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December last year, my second one in March this year and my third dose today (along with a flu jab).

I’m 30 years old with no underlying conditions, so I have no advice about anything other than my specific circumstances and I wouldn’t be qualified to give that advice anyway.

Anyway, now that most younger people are now eligible for the vaccine I want to encourage people to speak to a medical professional if they have any doubts about getting it.

In light of the vaccine being offered to younger groups and uptake in some regions not being as high as hoped, I have a simple request to make. Speak to your GP or nurse if you’re not sure, don’t rely on Facebook or other forms of social media to answer your questions. If you’re worried about getting the vaccine because of something you’ve seen on social media then please speak to a medical professional.

I want to encourage people to speak to a medical professional if they have any concerns about safety and and to ignore social media hearsay.

Why is this article necessary and why is the UK Defence Journal publishing this?

Good question. One of the biggest threats this country faces is disinformation on COVID19 and the vaccine for the disease.

Every day there are thousands of tweets spreading scare stories about the vaccine that otherwise intelligent people take as gospel. Additionally, as many of you know, I work in the NHS so this is an important topic for me personally as I see first hand the damage done by the spread of the virus and the panic caused by the misinformation surrounding it.

The misinformation relating to the virus is so severe now that Twitter is placing a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumours, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines.

“We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach,” the company said in a statement.

The policy includs false claims that suggest immunisations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations and statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy.

“False claims which have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations or false claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious, and therefore that vaccinations are unnecessary”, said the tech firm.

Facebook isn’t immune either, the firm has said that it has removed 20 Million pieces of Covid19 misinformation. However, although it didn’t offer data on how frequently vaccine misinformation is being shared, Facebook detailed signs of declining vaccine hesitancy in its community standards enforcement report released Wednesday.

According to Forbes here:

“Facebook cited a survey conducted in partnership with Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Maryland which it said found a positive change in attitude in many countries since the start of this year—including increases in vaccine acceptance by 35% in France, 25% in Indonesia and 20% in Nigeria.”

It is incredibly important to note that, despite the misinformation, the vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. That cannot be stressed enough. Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through, that has happened.

The better protected the public are against misinformation then the better off the UK is. It’s that simple.

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David S
David S
17 days ago

Unfortunately, there are stories of people who have been convinced by some anti-vaxxer not to take the vaccine who have then gone onto die from C19 almost on a daily basis. I must admit to it infuriating me. I believe that these people need to be held accountable for their actions. Everyone is entitled to make a personal choice as to whether they will take the vaccine but to convince others who are more vulnerable than themselves, using misinformation deserves them being liable for manslaughter.

Phylyp
Phylyp
17 days ago

I’m not in the UK, so which vaccine is it that you’ve got a third dose for, George? I’m due for my second dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine in October, and I’m not currently aware of the need for a third shot of this one.

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Phylyp

If it helps, I had my third dose of Pfizer on Sunday.

Phylyp
Phylyp
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Cheers, thank you for that information.

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Phylyp

No worries mate. 👍

Anthony Robinson
Anthony Robinson
16 days ago
Reply to  Phylyp

All over 50’s in the UK are to receive a third vaccine dose, irrespective of the type

Phylyp
Phylyp
16 days ago

Cheers, very useful to know. Is better check with my GP what the guidance is over here.

Ian M
Ian M
17 days ago

Wise words

farouk
farouk
16 days ago

I personally have no issues with people refusing the vaccine, All I ask is, if they become ill they refuse medical treatment. One way to thin the herd.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
16 days ago

When my doctor vaccinated my baby twins (not against Covid but against various other potentially fatal nasties) he remarked that vaccinations were the most productive work a doctor can do measured by lives saved per
minute of work.

eclipse
eclipse
16 days ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

True, that. I don’t understand people who are anti-vax yet still agree to go to hospital when their arm is broken or when they get a disease that they could have been vaccinated from.

Julian
Julian
16 days ago

One issue though is that some anti-vaxers are trying to find ways around the advice to consult medical professionals by making their anti-vax stuff look as if it comes from such professionals. I heard on the news a couple of days ago about a leaflet that has been in circulation that was formatted to look like an official NHS form complete with logos etc that was so convincing that some schools had been duped into sending it out to parents. I found this online article that appears to be about the same thing and shows a copy of the form… Read more »

farouk
farouk
16 days ago
Reply to  Julian

We’ve had 2 of those drop through the post, the first was a barking at the moon vaccines are full of GPS tracking devices and the latter was a much more subtle one which was made to look like a NHS one which tried to claim that more people are dying from receiving the vaccine than those who hadn’t..

James
James
15 days ago
Reply to  Julian

They are doing it in every setting, every piece of information that comes out they misrepresent and then claim it to be the worst possible scenario. Had an argument online a couple of weeks back that the NHS data had come out and most the people who had sadly died had been vaccinated. This to them was absolute hard line truth that the vaccine neither works and is killing people, when I pointed out almost 90% of people in the UK had received at least one dose they just wouldnt understand. Some people are beyond mentally retarded and the rest… Read more »

Julian
Julian
15 days ago
Reply to  James

Absolutely. Apart from that vaccinated people dying of Covid misrepresentation the other big myth I see a lot is anti-vaxers claiming that the side effect reporting shows that the vaccines are killing people due to heart attack, stroke, etc. Well yes, if a certain number of people usually die every month from those illnesses then with about 90% of people in the UK having received at least one dose unless the vaccines somehow magically stop all the normal fatal illnesses from claiming lives then of course we are going to see vaccinated people having heart attacks and strokes. I’m never… Read more »

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
10 days ago
Reply to  James

It’s 72% of population who have had at least 1 dose as of Oct 3rd.

The Big Man
The Big Man
14 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

What is the fact?
They have suspended whilst they investigate any possible connection. It does not say that there is a connection.
How is this helpful?

Will
Will
13 days ago

Stay away from this pls just “Navy” etc news. The experts have been just as wrong about covi as anyone else so this article is filled with danger for the writer.

billrla
billrla
12 days ago

Hi, George: I am a reader in the U.S. and appreciate your coverage of UK defense matters, especially in the maritime domain.

I am surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to use your website to wade into the journalistic cesspool of Covid media coverage.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
24 minutes ago

Quite simply mis-information when it comes to health should be a crime, free speech goes too far in this context.