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.
Are you Malcom Byrne willing to be held personally liable for all vaccine injuries that may occur from the proposed Covid-19 vaccine? If the answer is not yes then it is clear you are acting in bad faith.
— President-Elect what's in a name? (@Only_Choices) November 18, 2020
If the vaccines are so safe , why does the government indemnify the makers . The side effects compensation is funded by taxpayer so we do have a voice and we do have a choice .
— Niamh Leahy (@devlingirl) November 18, 2020
I want all information available to me and differing perspectives too. Afterall we wouldn't want lobbyists and companies to simply present their sales pitch without being scrutinised. All that could lead to long term side effects. https://t.co/dHl1IiOcfy
— Enjoy Your Days (President Elect Zorro🌞) ☯☮️🎵 (@paddylepage) November 18, 2020