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Liverpool headteachers describe ‘sinister’ tactics of anti-vaxx protesters


Liverpool headteachers describe ‘sinister’ tactics of anti-vaxx protesters

Headteachers have described the “sinister” intimidation tactics being used by protesters against the vaccination against Covid of teenagers in schools.

“It started with a few emails from a group calling itself Lawyers for Freedom,” the Guardian was told by the headteacher of one of a number of Liverpool schools that have come under pressure from anti-vaccine activists. “An email is relatively easy to ignore.”

The protests soon escalated, however, with “aggressive” leafleting of pupils by five or six protesters as they left school. The head dialled 999, but the police did not come.

“It felt disproportionate,” said the head. “We know there was at least one student who came back into school and was quite upset by what was going on.”

That was followed by a visit from a small group of protesters who gained access to the school, demanded to meet the head, then served quasi-legal documents warning that they would be held legally responsible if any child suffered death or harm from these “experimental vaccines”.

The same has happened at a number of Liverpool secondary schools. The encounters were typically filmed on a mobile phone then posted on the social media app Telegram by a group calling itself Liverpool’s People’s Resistance UK, naming schools and in some cases teachers, declaring, “Notice served.”

“It was pretty aggressive,” the head said. “They came up to reception asking to speak to the headteacher about a legal matter. They insist on reading from a script and they film the whole process on a mobile.

“Once they’ve handed the papers over, they tend to disappear. They’ve got the footage they want. It almost feels like it’s a trophy. There are Trumpian undertones to what these groups are doing. If they started describing themselves as patriots, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

The numbers of protesters involved is hard to pin down. An investigation by the Liverpool Post found that parents appeared to be contacting a group administrator called George to arrange for a visit and for papers to be served on their school. Having visited the school, they then boast about frightening teachers and at one point say about a headteacher: “She can’t run, she can’t hide.”

The head who spoke to the Guardian said he thought that some of the anger was from disenfranchised parents who were using the vaccine to pursue other grievances with their school. “To what extent the vaccine is a contributory factor, I don’t know,” he said. “What these sorts of groups are doing is saying, ‘We can do things. We can intimidate schools.’ It is sinister. Headship is a challenging enough vocation as it is. I fear what intimidation of this nature might do to future headship recruitment.”

A spokesperson for the Association of School and College Leaders agreed there were “sinister undertones” to what was happening in Liverpool, but they had not heard of this kind of organised activity elsewhere.

Elsewhere, anti-vaccine protesters have caused distress to pupils and staff while picketing school gates. Pupils at St Thomas More Catholic School in Blaydon, Gateshead, were distraught after anti-vaccine protesters showed them pictures of what appeared to be dead children.

Thames Valley police were investigating reports that a teacher was verbally abused by protesters at Beaconsfield School, one of a number of anti-vaccination protests at schools in Buckinghamshire. In Kent, police have been asked to lay on extra patrols after pupils were targeted by protesters.

A government spokesperson said: “It is never acceptable for anyone to pressurise or intimidate pupils, teachers or the wider school community, and protesters engaging in this type of behaviour should immediately bring it to an end. The police and local authorities have a range of powers available for managing protests at a local level and these can be used where appropriate.”

Supt Pete Steenhuis of Kent police said: “We respect that everyone has a right to peaceful protest and will balance these rights against the potential for disruption outside Kent and Medway schools.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, called for protesters to behave more responsibly. “Whatever your views on vaccination, it is never OK to make children feel scared and intimidated as they arrive at school.

“People have the right to express their concerns, but this must be done appropriately. Schools are not the place for angry protests. We would urge anti-vaccination campaigners to behave more responsibly and to carefully consider the impact their actions are having on children.”

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Kwara approves 100% consolidated health salary structure for nurses

The Kwara State government has approved and implemented a 100% Consolidated Health Salary Structure, (CONHESS) for nurses in the state.

Also, the state government has recruited about 63 nurses to fill the vacuum created by the brain drain in the country to improve the quality and standard of nursing care in line with the global best practices.

The Chairman and Secretary of the Kwara State Council of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Aminu Shehu and Markus Luka respectively, disclosed this in a statement in Ilorin made available to journalists.

The association appreciated the Executive Secretary of the state Hospital Management Bureau for playing a vital role in the struggle towards ensuring that its demands were met by the government.

The body also commended Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for the approval and implementation of the 100% CONHESS and the recruitment of more nurses to boost healthcare delivery in the state.


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More than 400 consultant anesthetists left Nigeria in 2yrs – Society

More than 400 consultant anesthetists left the shores of Nigeria for greener pastures in the last two years, President of the Nigerian Society of Anesthetists, Dr Olubusola Alagbe-Briggs said in Gombe on Wednesday.

Alagbe-Briggs told newsmen on the side-line of the society’s 31st annual scientific conference that the immigrant anesthetists left Nigeria in search of better practice environment.

She said anesthetists were the most sought-after specialists in foreign lands because of the peculiarity of their services.

“There is a global shortage of anesthetists because of the nature of the job which is intensive, acute and focused.

“We had about 1,200 members in the past, but today we have only 800 members.

“Those countries that are short of anesthetists are pulling those here in Nigeria to their countries.

“Nigerian professionals are the best. They are highly sought-after by other countries.

“Medical practitioners and other professionals will continue to emigrate until their welfare and available equipment are improved upon,’’ she said.

Alagbe-Briggs stressed that availability appropriate equipment and improved welfare were essential to improve medical practice and services.

She said the conference itself sought to ensure continuous enhancement of the knowledge of the society’s members to help to improve their services.

“We are looking at how we can help to improve on cancer care; we are involved in the operational stage, pain relief, emergency care and intensive care.

“We are in Gombe to brainstorm on how to improve our specialty in line with the theme of the conference, learn from one another and share research outcomes,’’ Alagbe-Briggs said.

The conference has: “Anesthesia and the pre-operative care of patients with cancers’’ as its theme.

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WHO Demands Fresh Data from China amid Outbreak of Pneumonia in Children

The World Health Organization (WHO) is requesting more data from China amid an outbreak of pneumonia in children.

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, said the agency was ‘following up with China’ as hospitals across the country continue to be overwhelmed.

Face masks and social distancing are again being recommended in the country.

The country is said to be grappling with a spike in pneumonia, dubbed ‘white lung syndrome’ because of the way lung damage shows up on scans, among children that has been attributed to a rebound in respiratory illnesses rather than an entirely new virus.



China had one of the most brutal and longest lockdowns of any country in the world which the WHO says robbed children of vital immunity against seasonal illnesses. 

Dr Van Kerkhove told the conference today: ‘Yes, we are seeing an increase in respiratory infections around the world.

‘We’re in autumn and entering winter months, so we are expecting to see rises in respiratory infections regardless.

We are following up with China. They are seeing an increase due a number of different infections

We are following up with our clinical network and following up with clinicians in China.

‘In terms of acute respiratory infections, we are looking at the burden on healthcare systems and looking at the healthcare capacities of systems.’

It comes after Chinese Health Ministry spokesman Mi Feng urged people in the country to again consider wearing face masks and distancing.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, he said: ‘Efforts should be made to increase the opening of relevant clinics and treatment areas, extend service hours and increase the supply of medicines.

‘It is necessary to do a good job in epidemic prevention and control in key crowded places.

‘[This includes] in schools, childcare institutions and nursing homes, and to reduce the flow of people and visits.’

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