Warning after 'disturbing' anti-vaccine leaflet drops through letterboxes

Ben Gadsby-Williams, who has warned people after a misleading Covid-19 leaflet was put through his door

Ben Gadsby-Williams, who has warned people after a misleading Covid-19 leaflet was put through his door - Credit: Ben Gadsby-Williams

A support worker has spoken of his concern after a leaflet with misinformation about coronavirus vaccines was put through his door in Norwich.

Ben Gadsby-Williams, of Cowgate, who works as a support worker to people with learning difficulties, said he was startled when a leaflet was put through his door "warning" people about the much-awaited Covid-19 vaccine - the first doses of which were issued last week.

Mr Gadsby-Williams described the leaflet as "the sort of thing you see on Facebook", but was surprised that somebody had printed it out and was distributing it around the city.

The leaflet, which was under the header 'Covid-19 vaccine: what you need to know' has also been reported as having been put through other doors and contains seven bullet points attempting to discourage people from receiving the jab. 

He said: "It was the kind of thing you would expect to see on Facebook or social media that gets shared around without verification. I did not expect it to come through my door.


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"I'm used to getting leaflets through my door during an election, but not a global pandemic."

Mr Gadsby-Williams said his concern was that people would be more likely to take its contents seriously as a printed letter and would be less likely to fact-check it - particularly more vulnerable people who may not have the facilities to do so.

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He said: "It's quite disturbing really. I shared the leaflet on Facebook to make people aware and thankfully didn't hear back from anyone who had also had one, but it is worrying nonetheless."

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk, said it was important people received the right information about the vaccines.

She said: "The programme being rolled out in Norfolk got off to a fabulous start and reports that we are getting back is that uptake is very, very high, with high enthusiasm and acceptability from those who are being invited to come forward for vaccination.

"I think it's really important that we hold onto that information and that message. The vast, vast majority of the population really welcome the vaccine and clearly see it for what it is - a strongly evidence-based, highly effective and safe way to protect everybody from Covid-19.

 "I, for one, am delighted to see vaccines rolled out."

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