The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said misinformation is putting “lives at risk” after an anti-abortion group in Northern Ireland warned people against the Covid-19 jab.
recious Life has produced a leaflet alleging dangers around “rushed vaccines”, which says that those who receive them will “effectively be human guinea pigs”.
It incorrectly claims Government guidelines state the vaccines should not be given to pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding, and also raises concerns they may affect fertility, claiming women should wait at least two months after a second dose before trying to get pregnant.
It further warns of “numerous reports” of people dying after getting the jab without providing any evidence for such claims.
The leaflet also questions whether “Covid-19 vaccines are actually needed”.
It states: “The global death rate from Covid-19 is 0.01%. This is of course much lower for people under 80 years of age and for those who don’t have serious underlying health problems.
“The recovery rate of those who get Covid-19 is almost 98%. No child without a serious underlying health condition has died of Covid-19 in the UK.”
Despite Health Minister Robin Swann repeatedly saying the vaccine programme is not compulsory, the leaflet raises concerns that it may become mandatory for people.
It says: “Forced vaccinations for Covid-19 would be an infringement of your civil and religious liberties and human rights.”
WHO said pregnant women are at higher risk of severe Covid-19, so they should consult with a healthcare provider to assess the risks versus the benefits of the vaccination.
It said: “Based on what we know about the mRNA vaccine, we don’t have any specific reason to believe that there would be risks that outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.
“WHO recommends that the same principles that apply to responding to Covid-19 apply to managing this infodemic.
“We need to prevent, detect and respond to it, together and in solidarity.
“Misinformation and disinformation put health and lives at risk, undermine trust in science, in institutions and in health systems and are hindering the response to the pandemic.
“WHO has taken this aspect of the response very seriously and has put in place several mechanisms to tackle this global challenge.”
According to Public Health England, non-clinical studies of the Pzifer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines have not raised any concerns about safety in pregnancy.
It also recommends that women can breastfeed after receiving the injection.
“There is no advice to avoid pregnancy after Covid-19 vaccination,” it added.
On Sunday the Department of Health moved to dispel concerns about the vaccines and fertility by releasing statements from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives relating to “misinformation circulating about the impact of Covid-19 vaccines on fertility”.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists president Dr Edward Morris said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility.
“Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.”
He added: “There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility.”
The Precious Life leaflet opposes the vaccines “as they were developed using cell lines from aborted babies”, describing them as “neither moral or ethical”.
However, in December the Vatican said the vaccines, which do not contain foetal cells, “can be used in good conscience”.
Precious Life was contacted for comment but did not respond.