Boris Johnson has said the anti-vaccine campaigners spreading “mumbo jumbo” on social media are “completely wrong”, as figures show that more than a fifth of adults in parts of England have not taken a single dose.
The prime minister said a voluntary approach to vaccination would remain, which he called “coercion” of other countries, as he took a broader look against those spreading “nonsense”.
The weekly data from NHS England shows that in some parts of the country more than a fifth of adults have not received their first dose of vaccine, while in some of the largest cities more than half of adults have not received their booster or third jab. ,
It’s totally wrong, it’s completely counterproductive, and the things they’re putting out on social media are totally jumbo.boris johnson
Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a vaccination center in Moulton Park, Northampton, the PM said: “I want to say to the anti-vax campaigners, the people who are putting this mumbo jumbo on social media: they are completely wrong Huh.
“You haven’t heard me say that before, because I think it’s important that we have a voluntary approach in this country and we’re going to have a voluntary approach.”
Mr Johnson said other European countries were going for “coercion”, adding: “What a tragedy we’ve got all this pressure on the NHS, our doctors and nurses are going through all the hardships, and we’ve got people Pulled out. Are utter bullshit about vaccinations.
“They are completely wrong, and I think it is time that I, the government, tell them what they are doing.
“It’s absolutely wrong, it’s totally counter-productive, and the stuff they’re putting out on social media is totally jumbo.”
The vaccine rollout has successfully reached millions of people, with the booster program ramping up in recent weeks as cases of Omicron have been reported.
However, in the UK an estimated 4.5 million people 18 years of age and older have not received their first dose, more than six million people do not have double jab, and around nine million eligible people have not received a booster.
NHS England figures published soon after Mr Johnson’s comments show that the first dose among adults is estimated to be less than 80% on 2 January in five local authorities: Westminster (73.9%), Camden (74.0%) , Islington (78.0%), Nottingham (79.0%) and Coventry (79.9%).
In some of England’s largest cities – Liverpool (49.1%), Birmingham (46.9%), Manchester (45.7%) and Nottingham (42.8%), less than half of adults are estimated to have taken their booster or third dose.
The data also shows that Newham in London is the local authority in England with the lowest booster and third dose among all adults (38.5%), followed by the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets (38.6%), Barking and Dagenham. . 39.2%) and Westminster (40.3%).
There are many reasons why people are not vaccinated, including questioning whether it is necessary, safe or effective, concerns about side-effects, complacency due to a low perception of personal risk, historical distrust of some public services and wrong information.
It’s really important to keep the message really positive and encouraging and to say ‘it’s never too late, we understand it can get complicated, people get busy’, and whenever they go to the vaccine center and Talking to people, they are very welcome. About any concerns they got.Dr Siobhan McAndrew, University of Sheffield
Few people will have valid medical exemptions, and millions of people who have recently contracted the coronavirus will be unable to receive boosters until 28 days after they test positive.
Dr Siobhan McAndrew, a lecturer in social science at the University of Sheffield, told the PA news agency that there appear to be two groups of people who do not yet have a vaccine.
There are people who have a “more principled, anti-vax position,” and others who aren’t very informed or confused.
She said: “People who are more anti-doctrinal, I think it’s more of their identity, and they’re less likely to change their minds, but it does mean, you know, when we look at those people. Those who are not vaccinated, some of them have not been vaccinated yet, and they agree.
“And it’s really important to keep the message really positive and encouraging and to say ‘It’s never too late, we understand this can get complicated, people get busy’, and whenever they go to the vaccine center And they are most welcome to talk. People about any concerns they may have.”
Dr McAndrew said there needs to be a balancing act between people who are feeling “nudged” because it will make it easier to access parts of life, such as travel, and they should not feel that ” They are being punished or unfairly punished “for not doing as they have been told”.
He said it is unlikely to encourage them by making people feel “stupid, lazy or lacking in any way” for not getting vaccinated yet.
RunnyMed Trust, a spokesperson for the race equality think tank, said the story surrounding the hesitation has been hurtful, and that stigmatizing certain groups is “not helpful at all”.
She said: “We’ve actually called for mobile vaccination units, hence the house-to-house testing, where you’re really bringing the vaccine to the communities that need it, especially in East London with multi-generational housing There are big areas where really if you can get the vaccine to those people’s doors, they’ll have their questions answered, they’ll have the ability to get the vaccine as well.”