Health officials condemn anti-vaccination leaflets

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Head teachers were contacted yesterday about the pamphlets – which are designed in a similar way to official government guidance.

The anonymous blue leaflets refer to ‘ethical concerns’ around a potential vaccination rollout for under-18s and compares ‘teachers, headmasters, parents, carers and guardians of children’ who do not ‘protect children’s rights’ to Nazi war criminals who claimed they were ‘just following orders’.

Health Minister Richard Renouf and vaccination programme head Becky Sherrington have both stressed that the messages in the leaflets are not endorsed by the government.

Deputy Renouf said: ‘We are aware that yesterday a leaflet was distributed outside some schools, containing unofficial Covid-19 vaccination information.

‘Members of the public can be reassured that the Government of Jersey, including all departments and schools, does not endorse any of the messages contained within the document nor does it condone the spreading of misinformation.

‘Any decision to vaccinate those under 18 is yet to be made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and UK health authorities.

‘Throughout the pandemic the Government of Jersey has followed the advice of this body, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency and UK health authorities to ensure public safety.’

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Ms Sherrington added: ‘We are really disappointed to learn about these leaflets, which are not anything to do with the Government of Jersey.’

She added that information had been circulated to head teachers from the Education Department.

The blue pamphlet, titled ‘Covid-19 Vaccine roll out to children’ claims that there is limited risk to children from the virus while the possible effects of the vaccine remain unknown.

It said: ‘Ethical concerns of unnecessary and unjustifiable risk. The roll out of new vaccines against SARS-Cov-2 (Covid-19) under a temporary approval has been the main tool promoted by the UK government in the management of Covid-19.

‘Clinical trials are ongoing and not due to be completed until 2023. Statistics show that the threat of Covid-19 to children is extremely low, with children less likely to become ill and no healthy children having died from Covid-19 in the UK to date.

‘Children are also unlikely to spread Covid-19. The plan to vaccinate children against Covid-19 without parental consent, using only the Gillick Competency concept to determine if children understand the potential implications, is largely flawed while the possible reactions to the vaccines are still unknown.

‘The government’s Yellow Card report has recorded over 200,000 adverse reactions, thereof over 1,100 deaths, from the three vaccines available in the UK to date.’

The Gillick Competence is a method by doctors used to assess whether under-16s can have treatment without the consent of their parents.

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