Anti-vaccination stickers have been spotted around Hartlepool, including on the historic Headland area. Health chiefs are furious and have hit out at those spreading misinformation that could potentially cause harm. Council officers confirmed that they had seen numerous stickers around the borough and stressed that any anti-vaxx materials reported to them are removed as soon as possible.
Deepak Dwarakanath, from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, warned spreading such theories is harmful to residents. He told the Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board: “The anti-vaxxers are doing people really severe harm and must be stopped.
“We need to ensure that any fear is calmed and that people are educated.
“The only way we will control Covid and come back to a degree of normality will be everyone taking their social responsibility and personal responsibility to get vaccinated.”
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Councillor Brenda Harrison said during a meeting that she had seen anti-vaxx stickers in the areas. She said: “There are some anti-vaccine stickers being put around the town, apparently they’re being put on [council] notice boards that usually would be read by visitors, and it’s actually blocking some of the important information for visitors, and there’s quite a number at the Headland.
“I think we all have to try and get the message out, it’s really appalling I think.
“There’s an anti-Covid thing as well, some people don’t think there’s such a thing, I mean it’s crazy, it’s just crazy.”
Cllr Harrison continued: “I think within a town like ours, that kind of thing, because we’re quite an insular town, that kind of thing spreads quite quickly.”
Craig Blundred, Hartlepool’s director of public health, said the council will be communicating the importance and benefits of getting the vaccine.
Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Council leader, added a number of months ago they were seeing similar stickers against people wearing masks.
“It really does sadden me that we are seeing this sort of thing, and the things that we still see on social media.”
Tony Hanson, council director of neighbourhoods and regulatory services, said they remove any material promoting these views as soon as possible once they are notified, and encouraged councillors to report any they see.
Additional reporting by Nic Marko.