The vaccination of children in schools is being hampered by anti-vaxxers threatening teachers with legal action, an expert has warned.
Almost three million children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for the Covid vaccine after the UK’s chief medical officers gave the go-ahead for a mass roll-out of jabs across hundreds of schools last month.
Since then, groups of anti-vaxxers have protested the decision, with some even targeting pupils on their way into school.
Teachers have reported abuse, prompting outcry from MPs, with many being left anxious after facing “legal writs and false legal documentation”.
Professor Saul Faust, Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases at University of Southampton, said he fears young people “are not getting balanced information”.
“We’ve all seen on the news the anti-vaxx demonstrations outside schools,” he told the Today programme.
“We have seen this morning anti-vaxxers being quite malignant to television presenters and I think head teachers are fairly scared of that.
“I think young people are not getting balanced information. They have been given the information from the NHS and from schools but teachers and head teachers are anxious about legal writs and false legal documentation.
“We have been – in the vaccine research world – used to getting this nonsense from anti-vaxxers for some time now and it goes straight in the bin.”
More than a million under 18s have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, and more than 218,000 are double jabbed.
Last month, skills minister Alex Burghart condemned the “abhorrent” abuse reported by teachers, adding anti-vaxxers were telling “outrageous” lies.