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 in December 2020, my second in March 2021 and my booster in September 2021. I’m 31 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 booster 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 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 includes 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.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Billythefish
Billythefish
3 months ago

[Various anti-vaxxer style buzzwords passed off as having done own research etc]

Last edited 3 months ago by George Allison
Terry
Terry
3 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

George the little Nazi.

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Terry

Terry this site is all about bringing the facts and the truth to the fore. Opinions and theories are great to a point but evidence will always win out in the end. Abuse gets us nowhere.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

Worried about the vaccine ? Be a lot more worried about the potentially life changing or fatal disease the vaccine protects you from.

As George said ask your trusted healthcare professional or if you need to research yourself only look at information from balanced professionals sources such as peer reviewed journals or the national audit office.

never ever take anything from face book or an internet news channel without going to the source articles and if they are not peer reviewed they are opinion only and opinion is not worth much.

Jonny
Jonny
3 months ago

Keep going strong against the tinfoil hat wearers. They are the vocal minority.

Something Different
Something Different
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

What does the majority of peer reviewed scientific research say? Cherry picking one scientist that represents a minority view where the evidence they have presented has not been supported by the majority of other experts is not a strong foundation for an argument.

Gr
Gr
3 months ago

For the record, I’m not an anti vaxxer, I am triple jabbed because I think the risk of catching covid is probably the bigger threat to someone of my age than that of any potential side effect, but Malone is saying that this should not be given to the young and healthy because the risk/benefit ratio is inverted for children and younger adults, and yet some governments are pushing mandatory vaccinations for kids. I dont think these concerns should be laughed off if someone of Malone’s pedigree and experience is saying this is not a good idea.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
3 months ago

George,
Interesting that you mention Faceache and Twetter, but not LinkedIn. The other week I saw an article about COVID on LinkedIn, and decided I would look at some of the comments. I was amazed and shocked at some of the garbage and misinformation that people were putting in the comments. So much so that I actually took the time to report them to LinkedIn, who subsequently removed a number of them

grizzler
grizzler
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Forsyth

Yes LinkedIn is just as bad as FB, if not worse, as its seems to be under the radar somewhat . You would think as it puports to be a website for professionals that it wouldnt have much of a demograph for some of the more questionable traits of visitors to other sites – but hey it appears not,theres just as many idiots on there.
Truly a sad indictment of society if an additonal one was needed.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Well said, George.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
3 months ago

When my doctor vaccinated my twins (against various non-Covid nasties) he said that vaccination is the most productive thing a doctor can do measured by lives saved per minute of work.

Something Different
Something Different
3 months ago

Great work George, it’s a very important topic