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Andrew Bridgen’s Covid vaccine tweets could harm public health | Letter

It is wholly appropriate that Andrew Bridgen lost the Tory whip after comparing the use of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust (Report, 11 January). As well as being unethical and offensive, his comments are potentially harmful to public health and public trust in vaccines. It is well established that Covid vaccines are safe and effective, and that the vast benefits outweigh any small potential risks.

Many of Mr Bridgen’s tweets on Covid vaccines, including the one that resulted in him losing the whip, cite spurious sources, including far-right libertarian blogs and discredited scientists infamous for espousing misinformation. It is concerning that such misinformation is being amplified by a sitting MP, and all parties should work together to ensure that such misinformation is not held, or spread, more widely by others.

Public health still depends upon high booster uptake of Covid and flu vaccines in the future, and so we can ill afford to be complacent; the fewer anti-vax messages from people in positions of power the better.
Dr Simon Williams
Swansea University

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