by Carlena Knight
Residents of Antigua and Barbuda are being urged to access all the accurate information they can before deciding whether or not to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Tony Neate, the chief executive of the non-profit organisation Get Safe Online, was speaking on the Observer AM showon Friday when he advised persons, especially those who remain unvaccinated, to ensure that whatever information they are gathering about shots is derived from a legitimate site.
He said only then should persons make decisions on whether or not to get jabbed.
“I am not ordering people to be vaccinated; I am just saying make sure you are well educated on the good and bad on both sides and be educated before you make that decision.
“Get that education through experts, doctors, professors — people who are in healthcare and really know their stuff — not somebody who just comes out with it on Facebook on Twitter.
“Make sure you know where you are getting your information from and that it’s genuine information with research to back it up,” Neate said.
“A lot of people are very deep, at least in relation to that, and that’s not bad people. They are entitled to their own opinions. I am a massive supporter of free speech but not if it is putting people at risk.”
Since 2006, Get Safe Online’s website has been helping people in the United Kingdom to protect themselves by providing unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.
Staying true to their aim, the non-profit website has launched a misinformation campaign in Antigua and Barbuda about the Covid pandemic.
Neate highlighted a few areas of misinformation that he observes are being distributed in the country.
“What we have seen a lot of is that Covid vaccine will give me Covid in the first place. No, that’s not right. You might be slightly unwell; I got friends and relatives who had a bad day with the headache and so on, but it doesn’t give you Covid. There’s this sort of thing that it will alter your DNA; no, it really will not,” Neate said.
“Let me tell you one of the ones that is the most common: Covid vaccination contains a microchip which can then track your movements.
“My wife is a nurse and she goes down to the vaccination centre on a regular basis and she knows what’s going on there. A vaccination in a micro-chip is fantasy world at the moment and I am not saying that it won’t happen eventually where you can be chipped because we are seeing that now, but certainly not in a vaccine,” he added.
Neate added that people need to be more responsible with sharing this sort of information as there are many vulnerable persons like the elderly and some children who will believe these sorts of untruths and put themselves at risk.
He shared that persons can access factual and unbiased information by logging on to www.getsafeonline.ag.