Anti-vaxxers who spread false news about the dangers of a coronavirus cure could be be punished by new laws to tackle misinformation.
The problem of malicious propaganda potentially causing people to die after avoiding treatment should be debated, according to Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer.
Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said that there should be a discussion about whether society should let this happen.
He is said to be interested in the area because Islamist and far-Right groups use false Covid-19 claims to groom recruits.
Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu
Piers Corbyn says vaccine ‘is experimental’ and makers ‘have no liability on sickness or death
Mr Basu stopped short of endorsing the idea of a new law, according to the Evening Standard.
He said: “There is a debate for society to have about free speech and responsibility and people who are spreading misinformation that could cost people’s lives.
‘Whether that is the correct thing for this society to allow to happen.’
He spoke at the launch of a new website to help concerned parents get advice on how to deal with teenagers who may be showing signs of radicalisation.
Mr Basu added: “I’m worried that the radicalisation of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, namely our children, is happening by online groomers and terrorists both from the Islamist and extreme right wing ideologies.
“It’s that online radicalisation, the explosion of online and technological devices in people’s hands 24/7, on top of the pandemic, which has effectively led to a lot more time people are spending on those devices, locked in their rooms away from their protective influences, while they’ve been out of school or out of colleges.
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
The group is reported to include Sheffield-based GP Julie Coffey (pictured), A&E nurses, healthcare assistants and lab workers
Another Covid vaccine breakthrough as Moderna reveals its jab is 94.5% effective
A second coronavirus vaccine has been proven to work as US pharmaceutical company Moderna today revealed its jab is 94.5 per cent effective – but the UK hasn’t bought any of it.
Early results from the company’s final stage of clinical trials bring another landmark success in the global race to end the pandemic after Pfizer‘s vaccine, which works in the same way, was last week found to be 90 per cent effective.
Moderna’s results show that only five out of 95 people who tested positive in the study had been given the vaccine, compared to 90 who had not.
There are around 30,000 people in the study in total, each receiving two doses of the jab or a placebo.
And nobody in the vaccine group got seriously ill with Covid-19, compared to 11 in the placebo group, who were given a fake vaccine to compare against the real one.
The results suggest the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of people testing positive for coronavirus or getting sick with Covid-19.
But Britain has not secured early access to the vaccine, meaning it will not get any doses of the jab this year.
It may be able to buy some of the 500million to 1billion doses the firm plans to make in 2021, but no deal has yet been announced. An unnamed Whitehall source claimed the Government was ‘in advanced discussions’.
“It’s all given more time for their radicalisation to take place. The people who are going to stop it are the people who love them the most, who are the friends and family that see that change in behaviour.”
It comes in the wake of the Labour Party proposing emergency legislation for fines and criminal penalties for social media firms that keep false Covid posts up.
On Monday Health Secretary Matt Hancock slammed more than 300 NHS workers and care home staff for joining an ‘anti-vaxxer’ group.
He 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.
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’.
The group was started as ‘NHS workers for choice, not restrictions for not wanting a vaccine’ on October 4.
But it changed its name to ‘NHS workers for choice, no restrictions for declining a vaccine’ on the same day.
The admins are listed as William Steed, Linda Rose, Heather Atkinson and Aurora Cavarra.
They describe the page as: ‘A dedicated group for medical professionals etc to collectively keep freedom of choice an option and not to be hampered with any restrictions of doing so.’
A GP surgery worker who is part of the group said she would prefer to leave her job than help with administering a vaccine.
On the subject of healthcare workers being first to get any jab, the Times found one member wrote: ‘NHS staff gone — all sick and old will be gone.’
They added: ‘NHS gone. Population under reconstruction. Welcome to the new world order.’
Pfizer and BioNTech last week revealed initial results from a massive clinical trial suggested nine out of 10 people who get their jab are protected by it.
The UK could get 10million doses by Christmas – enough for five million Britons – with experts raising expectations life could be ‘back to normal’ by the spring.
Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, Sheffield-based GP and suspended nurse whose own son has distanced himself from her: Anti-vaxxers sowing doubt about a covid jab
Sheffield-based doctor Julie Coffey has claimed vaccines for the virus are prioritising speed over safety.
The GP, who works for Dovercourt Medical Practice, wrote on her website: ‘Although I’m a conventionally trained doctor and work as a GP, I love the natural health work I’m involved in now.
‘It’s hugely satisfying to help people reach better health naturally which sometimes enables them to chuck their pills away.’
She has also re-posted claims from anti-vaxxer groups on social media and says she avoids using a face covering in shops despite government guidelines.
Ms Coffey shared a video which argued Wuhan saw more Covid-19 deaths than other parts of China due to people there being tested for a Sars vaccine.
Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, a Sheffield-based GP and a suspended nurse are among those sowing seeds of doubt over vaccines.
Piers, who is the former Labour leader’s older brother, has been detained five times during the coronavirus pandemic which he brands a ‘plandemic’.
Piers Corbyn, who is the former Labour leader Jeremy’s older brother, has been detained five times during the coronavirus pandemic which he brands a ‘plandemic’
The 73-year-old claims Covid-19 is a ‘hoax’ and is the founder of a group called No New Normal.
He is close to footballer turned conspiracy theorist David Icke, who believes global events are decided by reptiles.
They have appeared at anti-lockdown marches and spoke on stage at one in Trafalgar Square in central London.
Piers told the Times: ‘This vaccine is experimental and the vaccine producers have no liability on sickness or death.
‘The whole thing is one of the main motives of the new world order [a conspiracy theory hypothesizing a secret totalitarian global government].
Mother-of-four Kate Shemirani, a former nurse of 35 years, is adamant coronavirus is a hoax and claimed its symptoms are linked to the roll-out of 5G.
Mother-of-four Kate Shemirani, a former nurse of 35 years, is adamant coronavirus is a hoax and claimed its symptoms are linked to the roll-out of 5G
She has argued the vaccine is a political tool to gain access to and change people’s DNA, has likened lockdown to the Holocaust and insisted dancing NHS nurses will ‘stand trial for genocide’.
She is a headliner at anti-lockdown rallies, having joined conspiracy theorists David Icke and Piers Corbyn at a protest in August.
She directed yobs to confront riot police whom she branded ‘dirty dogs’ and mocked for wearing face masks at a rally in September.
Her son Sebastian, 21, said he is concerned about the impact his mother’s claims could have on public health and branded her ‘dangerous’ and an ‘attention-seeker’.
Locum consultant surgeon Muhammad Iqbal Adil Dr Adil is currently interim suspended while the GMC carries out an investigation.
The 61-year-old dismissed Covid as a ‘hoax’ and, in a YouTube video which has since been removed, said a vaccine could be combined with electrical components to monitor the global population.
Locum consultant surgeon Muhammad Iqbal Adil Dr Adil is currently interim suspended while the GMC carries out an investigation
David Icke is the notorious conspiracy theorist who often makes headlines for his controversial comments.
Born in 1952, the 68-year-old former professional footballer has written more than 20 books and once tried his hand at punditry and sports reporting.
In 1991, he appeared on Sir Terry Wogan’s TV chat show where he declared himself as the son of God in a now-infamous clip which he describes as a ‘defining moment’.
It was from here that he began writing his books and making bold predictions including that the world would end in 1997.
Other bizarre claims he have made include that the royal family are lizards.
David Icke is the notorious conspiracy theorist who often makes headlines for his controversial comments
Icke also believes that an inter-dimensional race of reptilian beings called the Archons has hijacked the earth and is stopping humanity from realising its true potential.
The 68-year-old has said the universe is made up of ‘vibrational’ energy, and consists of an infinite number of dimensions that share the same space, just like television and radio frequencies, and that some people can tune their consciousness to other wavelengths.
Most recently, he has suggested the coronavirus is linked to the 5G mobile network, a claim which has never been backed up by science.