Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon says anti-vaxxers spreading misinformation are guilty of anti-social behaviour

Nicola Sturgeon says that anti-vaxxers who deliberately spread misinformation regarding coronavirus are ‘anti-social’.

The First Minister who was joined by Clinical Director Jason Leitch at a Scottish Government briefing today, was asked if she classed those who choose not to be vaccinated as anti-social.

Ms Sturgeon said that while there are a number of reasons why people may choose not to get the vaccine, she conceded those who actively spread untruths about it were “not helping”.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

However, she refused to class all anti-vaxxers as being guilty of anti-social behaviour.

Nicola Sturgeon says those spreading misinformation are anti-social.

She said: “It may be counterproductive to treat everybody in the group of people who are eligible for the vaccine but haven’t yet been vaccinated as one homogeneous group.

"It’s an individual responsibility, and I think it’s an individual opportunity for all of us to get vaccinated.

"It’s actually part of our collective civic duty right now to each other, to get vaccinated, it's the best way out of this.

"This is where I would subdivide the group of people who are not vaccinated, and I’ll be blunt about the first group, if you’re an anti-vaxxer who’s going around deliberately spreading misinformation about this vaccine then yes, I would accuse you of anti-social behaviour because you’re putting people at risk by doing that.”

The First Minister also made a plea to those who have opted against vaccination to seek out the facts and look past the misinformation which has been widely shared.

She said: "If you’re blithely sharing or retweeting information about the vaccine that has not got any basis in evidence or fact then you’re not helping, in fact you’re doing the opposite of helping.

“But if you’re someone who is genuinely worried about the vaccine because you might be reading some of this stuff. Then I would say to you please just take a bit of time to find out the facts about the vaccine.

"I’m not going to criticise people who have genuine concerns but I will not stop trying to encourage you to educate yourself about the vaccine and come forward and get vaccinated.

"The last group are people … they’re people who have maybe just got busy lives and haven’t managed to get to an appointment.

"I think we all understand that but that’s where the responsibility is on the government to make it as accessible as possible.”

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.