'Misinformation' about 'mythical dangers' of Covid vaccine is hindering rollout, says Archbishop

Justin Welby receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged the UK Government to address "misinformation" around the Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking in the House of Lords this week, the Archbishop, who has himself been vaccinated, said "false stories" about the "mythical dangers" of the vaccine were an obstacle to its rollout. 

He said this misinformation was "being deliberately spread" and needed to be addressed by the Government. 

The Archbishop raised concerns about other challenges, including the "immense logistical difficulties" in distributing the vaccine across the UK, and the use of surplus supplies as he singled out Canada for ordering "more than five times what it needs for its population". 

He praised the UK Government for showing "exceptional moral leadership" after helping to raise $1bn towards the WHO's COVAX programme, which aims to ensure equitable access to the vaccine across countries. 

"However, in order to make the money work ... we need a global vaccination campaign if we are to overcome this global pandemic," he said.