Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced that he will be seeking meetings with social media companies in an effort to stop the spreading of false information on vaccines.
The announcement comes as the Minister officially launched the roll out of the HPV vaccine for boys entering first year of secondary school.
Taking to Twitter, Minister Harris says he wants only factual information to be posted online about vaccines.
I intend to write to social media companies this week and seek to meet them to discuss how we can work together to promote factual information about vaccines and stop the spread of misinformation and disinformation. We all need to work together #VaccinesSaveLives
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) August 27, 2019
‘I intend to write to social media companies this week and seek to meet them to discuss how we can work together to promote factual information about vaccines,’ he wrote.
Minister Harris says he also wants to ‘stop the spread of misinformation and disinformation’ online when it comes to vaccines.
‘We all need to work together,’ he added.
Speaking at the launch of the HPV vaccine, Minister Harris said that social media companies need to ‘step up to the plate’ to challenge the spreading of vaccination myths.
‘I think they have a responsibility in this regard,’ the Minister said.
Minister Harris previously told Extra.ie that he believes that there are some people in society who ‘deliberately spread lies and nonsense about vaccinations and we need to call them out’.
Minister Harris said: ‘Vaccine hesitancy is one of the greatest threats to public health and the health service is working extremely hard to counter the myths spread about vaccination and increase the uptake rates.
The family of the late HPV vaccine campaigner, Laura Brennan, also spoke at the official launch of the HPV vaccine for boys.
Kevin, Laura’s sister, encouraged all boys to get the vaccine, stressing that his sister believed the vaccine could save lives.
‘Laura poured herself into this campaign,’ Kevin said.
‘In her words, “‘the vaccine saves lives. It could have saved mine, but it will save yours”‘.