The SNJ is no longer publishing letters arguing against having the Covid vaccine or in fact any other vaccine approved by government medical institutions.

Editor Michael Purton said: "Due to the seriousness of the pandemic, we are no longer publishing letters which make arguments against having the Covid vaccine or any other vaccines.

"Vaccinations are harmless and essential to healthcare.

"There is no scientific evidence to the contrary.

"We have always tried to provide a platform for free speech and open debate, even when that meant publishing opinions which are controversial and opposed by most people, but feel we must make an exception during the pandemic when it is vital that everybody has the vaccine in order to save lives."

This letter sent in by Roger Plenty of Stroud, which will appear in next week's paper, encapsulates the issue perfectly.

WHAT have vaccines ever done for us?

Well, they’ve eliminated smallpox.

They’ve severely restricted diseases that were once widespread, causing them to be eliminated altogether in some parts of the world - these include polio, tetanus, influenza, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, rubella, measles, whooping cough, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, mumps, chickenpox, diphtheria.

Now we have a crisis on our hands: Covid.

We have a vaccine for it.

For heaven’s sake, that is good news.

So why are the anti-vaxxers up in arms?

Why are they trying to spread confusion about it?

What are they afraid of?

They were out in force in Stroud High Street recently spreading their totally irresponsible message.

Please, people, do not be misled by them.

Lives depend on it!

Roger Plenty