David Beckham has become a target for anti-vaxxers after a campaign including him was released by the United Nations International Children”s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Beckham — the face of this year’s World Immunisation Week — says in the video on social media: “Vaccines work. They protect children and adults and they save millions of lives every single year.”
“We will be together again and vaccines will help us get there,” he added.
But he has now become the latest target for online users who are sharing conspiracy theories about vaccines, their safety and side effects.
“Shame on you David Beckham how much did they pay you to promote the #poison,” one tweet claims.
Another gained more than 2,000 likes alone: “I liked David Beckham for many years, but after seeing him promote vaccines, I no longer do.”
None of these tweets had been flagged as vaccine misinformation by Twitter.
The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency have both said the “benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks”.
Anti-vaccination misinformation online has been a hot topic amid the pandemic, with many questioning whether tech platforms are doing enough to curb the spread of this content on their platforms.
Experts have warned that misinformation about the safety of vaccines may have huge ramifications, potentially affecting the uptake of the jabs.
UNICEF’S project with David Beckham aims to “inspire confidence in vaccines and encouraging parents around the world to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases,” it said.