The Taoiseach has slammed anti-vaxxers’ imbecilic rhetoric and cataclysmic ignorance as “fake news” as Micheál Martin also hailed the vaccine roll out as “historic” and “a vindication” for science.
But the country’s leader also took the opportunity to warn about fake news on social media where the efficacy of the miracle vaccines are being challenged .
“We need to make sure that fake news doesn’t get prevalent or get sort of promoted on the various digital platforms.
“I can remember all of the furore about the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccines and the huge damage that was done at the time.
“We had to put up with measles outbreaks for two or three years and children being very ill and in some cases lost their lives as a result of that campaign.”
The Taoiseach was responding to Labour leader, Alan Kelly, during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil who was calling for a commitment from the Taoiseach that he’ll talk to social media company bosses.
Mr Martin said: “It is truly an historic day and it is a vindication for science as the ultimate route for dealing with this terrible virus that has wreaked such havoc across the world in terms of lives lost, in terms of so many people who have become ill with the virus, the longer term consequences, the economic upheaval, the social upheaval, it has changed our very way of living.”
He added: “We need to be very strong and positive in support of vaccination to eliminate a virus that has caused such devastation, mayhem and death across the world.
“The whole objective of vaccination historically has been to eliminate such diseases and such viruses.
“And the history of vaccinations has been an extraordinary one, in terms of the 20th century for example, in terms of the transformation in health care and outcomes, which is often forgotten as times move on.
“That which was horrendous in one era becomes commonplace in the next era and of no consequence because of vaccines and medicines generally.”