Anti vaxxer tactics exposed as medics and health chiefs bombarded with…

Anti vaxxer tactics exposed as medics and health chiefs bombarded with…




Medics and health chiefs have spoken today of the frightening abuse they have endured for encouraging hesitant people to take up their Covid vaccines and boosters – and hit back at the ‘cruel, misguided’ messages denying the virus.

One female doctor, who we are not identifying, has told how her personal phone and email details – not publicly obtainable – were traced by anti-vaxxers who overwhelmed her with messages accusing her of brainwashing people and causing harm, with threatening overtones, after she urged pregnant women to get their jabs.

The intensity and frequency of the messages was such that she was left fearful for her children’s safety.

But she says she is determined ‘they won’t win’ and she is continuing to speak up to urge vaccine take-up.

Read more: Number of patients in City and Sandwell hospitals with Covid DOUBLES in five days – and nevertheless rising

“I was innundated with messages to my personal phone, my inbox, and at work. I was not so much scared for myself but was very worried for my kids,” she said.

The doctor has witnessed for herself the traumatic impact of the virus on unvaccinated mums-to-be – including seeing babies born prematurely to try to save their Covid-battling mums, while other young patients have died without ever holding the baby they had longed for.

She was targeted to the point where the health trust she worked for insisted on taking her out of the public eye, amid fears for her safety. The incidents were reported to West Midlands Police.

Meanwhile, other health professionals have highlighted how distressing it is for hard working colleagues to see messages flood social media in denial of the severity of the virus – after they have spent day after day seeing people struggle to breathe, and lost loved ones of their own to Covid.

Public health director Lisa McNally, at Sandwell Council, has frequently been on the receiving end of abuse for standing up to anti vaxxer ‘bullies’ including vile letters, emails and messages on social media – all intended to intimidate her into silence.

She has made a point of calling out the ‘ludicrous’ claims of some anti vaxxers on social media, triggering more attacks – but says she will not let up in highlighting and correcting misinformation.

She said: “Anti-vax campaigners are playing games with people’s lives. They are twisting the truth, telling lies and manipulating people.

“They have already targeted children outside local schools, all to gain some attention for themselves. Luckily, in most situations they are failing and people are increasingly seeing by their nonsense.”

She has also produced social media – like the Twitter thread below – exposing the tactics of anti-vaxxers as part of efforts to help people understand why they do not have the best interests of residents at heart – unlike health professionals.

Julie Booth, deputy director of infection prevention and control at Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals, said it was “very difficult” for medics on the frontline to read and hear of those in denial and spreading misinformation.

“The reality is we are living and breathing this every day. We have seen some very sad situations and deaths, and lost family members – you cannot sugar-coat any of that. This virus makes people lose their lives.

“It is upsetting and distressing to all of us but it is very much a reality.”

The number of Covid-positive inpatients at City and Sandwell Hospitals has nearly doubled in just five days, said Mel Roberts, the trust’s Chief Nurse – leaving staff contemplating a fresh wave of illnesses and deaths.

“I have got a fantastic team of staff and their resilience by three groups of Covid has been incredible – but they do get upset about those claiming it is unreal.

“Our respiratory and ICU staff see it at its worst.

“We sustain our teams daily but watching someone with Covid, very unwell, and sometimes the way Covid is seeing patients enhance and then deteriorate quickly is terrible, for their families and our staff. Long Covid too is extremely challenging.

“Our staff just want to do the right thing and do their best to ensure people stay safe – and that includes encouraging people to take the vaccine.”

They were speaking at a Birmingham Live Q&A event on Facebook – when among those commenting and taking part were a vocal group of anti-vaxxers, keen to undermine the information provided.

Latest research shows that the majority of Covid patients who end up in intensive care are unvaccinated. There are also growing numbers of people who have had two doses but are however to receive their boosters.

Fears about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 – and particularly evidence that it might evade the existing vaccines – have prompted urgent action.

For latest availability of vaccines locally, visit the NHS Birmingham and Solihull vaccination website here, or the Black Country and West Birmingham vaccination website.

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