Northern Ireland news

Edwin Poots tells vaccine conspiracy theorists to ‘catch themselves on'

Edwin Poots said some people were choosing not to get a jab because they believed “nonsense” on social media. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
David Young, PA

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has told people being influenced by coronavirus vaccine conspiracy theories to “catch themselves on”.

The DUP MLA expressed concern that some people were choosing not to get a jab because they believed “nonsense” on social media.

Mr Poots also said he did not believe another lockdown was the way to tackle high infection rates in the north.

“I don’t believe lockdowns actually can deliver what’s needed,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

Read More: Edwin Poots refuses to apologise for Catholic coronavirus comments, saying 'bad behaviour' spreads the virus

“What can deliver is people being sensible and being rational.

“Actually that cohort which haven’t taken the vaccination – some because they couldn’t be bothered and others who have listened to nonsense that has been going out on social media – we really need people to get vaccinated.”

Mr Poots was at the opening day of the Balmoral Show, where a pop-up vaccination centre is offering jabs.

“People are listening to the biggest load of rubbish, and someone said to me the other day that everybody who has taken the vaccination will all be dead in three years, and this is the sort of nonsense that has been spread amongst a small cadre of people,” he said.

“But the outworking of that is that people who need cancer care in hospital and other major surgeries, life-saving surgeries, cannot get it because those beds are full of people who haven’t been vaccinated – the intensive care units are full of people not vaccinated.

“People need to catch themselves on and go and get the vaccination.

“It is not going to be some new world order thing, it’s something that has been worked out by hundreds of different scientists from different institutions across the world, and we need the vaccination to be rolled out to as many as possible.”

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