FACT CHECK: There is no evidence that any of the ingredients in the Covid-19 vaccines cause harm when used in such small amounts. Please also note Dr Richard House is NOT a medical doctor, he has qualifications in counselling and psychotherapy. Please ensure you and your family are vaccinated against Covid-19 at the appropriate time.

AN anti-vaccination campaigner was forced to defend his stall in Stroud after MP Siobhan Baillie slammed such activities as ‘unacceptable,’ irresponsible’ and ‘utter rubbish.’

The so-called Vax Information Hub was set up in the High Street by Dr Richard House, from Stroud, and others to promote vaccine scepticism following the Pfizer jab approval.

Dr House is not a medical doctor but rather a psychotherapist and counsellor, according to his Twitter account.

As cases of Covid-19 hit record levels and the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine was approved, Ms Baillie spoke out against anti-vax activities.

“Attempting to undermine our health professionals and encouraging misinformation as facts is just about as irresponsible as it can be during a pandemic,” she said.

“What greater disrespect is there to those putting their lives on the line to treat the sick and all the grieving relatives of the dead than this utter rubbish?”

Vaccine scepticism has grown online since the outbreak of Covid-19, ranging from uncertainty about the speed of their development to fabrication and outright conspiracies in which Bill Gates, WHO and the UN are accused of microchipping, sterilising or lethally injecting the public.

The Vax Hub’s Dr House, who works at the Hawthorn Press in Stroud, called Ms Baillie’s comments ‘propaganda’ and said he was concerned about the long-term impact of the vaccine.

“I think it’s entirely disreputable and in fact I think it’s disgraceful to actually play the emotional card which is what she’s doing there,” he said.

Dr House claimed the vaccine could be damaging and that it was being pushed by ‘ruthless vested interests’ including the Government, pharmaceutical companies, scientists and Bill Gates.

There is no evidence that any of the ingredients in the Covid-19 vaccines cause harm when used in such small amounts.

Dr House added: “People from 66 to 83 years of age would not be standing on the high street in the middle of winter unless we felt incredibly passionately about something and what we feel passionately about is there is no open democratic debate.”

More than one million vaccine doses have been administered by 595 GP surgeries and 107 hospital sites across the country and only two people, both with a history of severe allergic reactions, were reported to have had an allergic reaction to the jab and both have recovered.

When asked to comment on the issue by the SNJ, Dr Andrew Preston, who researches respiratory diseases and vaccines at the University of Bath, said: “No one is stopping them from having the debate and vaccination is voluntary – how much more democratic can we get?,”

He said the vaccines, which were approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, are safe, rigorously tested, life-savers.

“There is a risk to taking any medicine, some people can’t take penicillin or paracetamol but the risk from Covid-19 far outweighs the small risk associated with any new product.”

Dr Preston said the speed at which the vaccines were developed had no impact on their safety, explaining researchers had been preparing for a new virus for years and were armed with knowledge from the SARS and MERS outbreaks.

Manufacturers were also prepared to invest in the vaccine whilst efficacy trials were ongoing rather than afterwards.

“It’s a very dangerous game to say we need to wait,” he said.

“The need is very pressing and I would say to anti-vaccination campaigners how long is long enough? A year? 5 years? When will ever be enough?

“They would have to accept that the death toll from Covid-19 might go from 75,000 to 150,000 and many people will die because the hospitals will stop working.”

He said that when speaking with friends or relatives who are against vaccination, you should recognise their uncertainty and encourage them to get a range of information and look for the evidence, because the evidence will show the vaccines to be safe.