Fianna Fáil senator Malcolm Byrne has told the Seanad that “unqualified people” should not be allowed to spread anti-vaccination information online.

The Wexford man told the Seanad earlier this week of a “worrying trend” on social media of “anti-vax fake news”.

“While I’m not opposed to debate between medics about how vaccinations will be rolled out, for unqualified people to be spreading anti-vax messages is simply not acceptable,” he claimed.

“So I would ask that we would have a discussion in this House and, if necessary, legislation be brought forward to ensure that particularly the tech giants take responsibility to prevent the spreading of anti-vax nonsense.”

The contribution came as the senator welcomed “the successes that we’ve seen in terms of the vaccines and the progress that is happening”, after a week in which Moderna joined Pfizer in claiming to have a vaccine that was over 90% effective against Covid-19.

Byrne’s comments were met with a mixed reaction on his Twitter page as followers challenged the senator’s call to halt the spread of anti-vaccination messaging.