Journalist and broadcaster Beverley Turner has rejected claims that she’s an anti-vaxxer amid the fall-out of her recent appearance on This Morning.
She appeared on Monday’s ITV show where she got into a heated debate with presenter Dermot O’Leary about the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 jab, and said young people should reject their invitation to have it.
Over the weekend there have been newspaper reports that production staff on the popular daytime show have now been told she is banned from further appearances because of her controversial stance on the vaccines.
However, she took to Twitter today to declare that her stance does not make her an anti-vaxxer, as she and her three children are all inoculated against a range of other diseases, which are recommended across the UK population.
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“Anti-vaxxer is a total misnomer. My children and I have all our inoculations. And I totally stand by my position that for healthy young people it is #safertowait for #longtermdata. Risk v benefit does not stack up. This isn’t controversial.”
She added: “Thanks for your huge support,” in recognition of the fact that her tweets on the vaccine regularly attract thousands of likes.
Since Friday’s show, where she clashed with O’Leary and fellow pundit and talk show host Matthew Wright, she tweeted a clip of the show, which she captioned: “This has been watched nearly half a million times in 24 hours. People are not stupid. They are desperate to have open conversations without emotion, anger & judgement. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction.
“Let’s please talk about the pros and cons of all responses to Covid.”
Beverley, who was previously married to rower James Cracknell, took the row in her stride this weekend, when she acknowledged she was trending on Twitter, but said she was simultaneously shopping for trainers in Sports Direct and watching her daughter play netball.
She also re-tweeted a post from journalist Kate Silverton, who wrote: “My question: how can we know it is ‘safe and effective’ for children when there is no long term safety data?”
Beverley has been a familiar face on This Morning over the last year as part of a revolving line-up of guest commentators.
On Monday’s show, when Beverley was invited into discuss that day’s news, things took a tense turn during a discussion about the vaccine as she argued: “It does not stop you catching or passing on the virus.’
“It does” replied Dermot. “The finest minds of science have, in an extraordinarily short amount of time, come up with this vaccine.
“It’s proven it’s working statistically. Why are you so cynical?”
Beverley argued there wasn’t enough ‘long-term data’ to support the need for the vaccine.
“We don’t have a chance to have long-term data because we have this virus that’s killing people around the whole world,” replied Dermot.
“We don’t have that luxury, surely. Why are you so sceptical about the whole thing?” he asked again.
Beverley shot back: “Because of the fact there’s a 99.8 per cent survival rate from Covid-19. The average age of death is 82.”
This Morning host Alison Hammond, 46, came under fire on social media this week for admitting on the ITV show that she was ‘hesitant’ to have the jab.
The host was also called up on her views by guest star Gyles Brandreth.
“But you’re going to get a jab aren’t you, you’re going to do it,” he told her.
“Well we’ll see, we’ll see,” said Alison.
“You must do Alison,” he told her.