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Dickson Speaks Out Against Anti-Vax Leafleting


East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has spoken out against the danger of misinformation spreading in the community. His warning comes after several homes in Whitehead received anti-vaccine leaflets that caused considerable distress to many. The issue is now being dealt with by the police.


Mr Dickson said: “These leaflets that are being distributed amongst the local community are completely abhorrent and pose a very real and serious threat to our recovery from the pandemic. They contain dangerous misinformation as to how the covid vaccines were developed and if these falsehoods were to take root in the minds of the public, many lives could be put at risk.


People do not need to be reminded of the devastation that this pandemic has had on our society, our economy, and our general way of life. The vaccine roll-out programme is our ticket out and jeopardising the health and wellbeing of others is unacceptable.”


Mr Dickson continued by saying: ”The vaccines approved for use in the UK have had to meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness, and have been tested, regulated and approved by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The vaccines currently being used in NI have gone through all of the clinical trials and safety checks that all other licensed medicines go through. Any future vaccines will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective too.”


He concluded by saying: “Since the first vaccines were approved for use towards the end of 2020, the roll-out has been dogged by misinformation and conspiracy theories. I implore anyone with concerns about the safety of the vaccine to talk to medical experts, make use of reliable sources such as the NHS website or the HSC Public Health Agency website, or get in touch for more information.”


So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare, whilst no long-term complications have been reported. Other prominent myths have been debunked by professional bodies seeking to reassure the public of the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

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