THE British Medical Association, the United Nations, and the World Health Organisation are all agreed: we are in the grip of a dangerous “infodemic”.

It consists of people peddling ever more ridiculous anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on social media, spreading the virus of fake news and hampering our efforts to halt Covid-19.

Last weekend, half the people booked for their jag at the Hydro in Glasgow failed to turn up. Some were doubtless derailed by unforeseen domestic circumstances or late notification. Too many others had managed to persuade themselves that the vaccines developed to combat the pandemic could cause everything from infertility to an alteration in your basic DNA.

Loopy conspiracies being fed to sceptical surfers include Covid being a hoax, being caused by 5G radiation, or a cunning plan dreamt up by big Pharma, Bill Gates or both.

The American variants on this dangerous nonsense include biological warfare, microchip implantation, or aliens. You don’t have to be crazy to spread this brand of idiocy but it probably helps.

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We have been here before. When one rogue doctor (happily now struck off) invented some “evidence” that the triple MMR jag to immunise children against measles, mumps and rubella might cause autism, thousands of parents opted out. The predictable result was a spike in sometimes fatal childhood diseases we’d almost eradicated.

Vaccine refusniks often like to portray themselves merely as citizens exercising a right of individual choice. It’s not as simple as that. The development of vaccines is regarded by all serious medical sources as one of the greatest strides in modern medicine.

The entire point of mass vaccination is to ensure that there is a sufficient percentage of the population immunised to protect us all. Opting out is, rather, a purely selfish choice which endangers us all. And themselves.

It is not, of course, serious medical sources, who are stuffing online sites with ever more fanciful fakery. The players in this damaging game, not at all incidentally, hoover up millions from the advertising embedded with their messaging.

People who seriously care about their family, their community, and their health service should not imbibe advice from voodoo websites.

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