DOCTOR and councillor Zahid Chauhan has spoken out on the danger of anti-vaxx conspiracy theories that are taking hold in areas of Oldham.

In a stark warning to the town's residents, he said that baseless conspiracy theories “make people reluctant to get protected” and “could cause deaths”.

Dr Chauhan has previously expressed concern that the BAME community and other deprived communities, who are disproportionately infected and dying from Covid-19 in the UK, are not getting vaccinated due to anti-vaccination theories.

The GP, who is also a councillor and cabinet member of Adult Social care and Health, has reported being “inundated with questions about chip, insertion, changing DNA etc.”

False claims that the vaccine is a means of inserting microchips into the population and altering our DNA, are continuing to circulate across social media.

In Middleton posters calling the pandemic “a scam”, purportedly by lockdown sceptic group The White Rose, appeared earlier this month before being removed by the council.

Amid spiralling cases in Oldham, Dr Zahid Chauhan has said: “There have generally been too many conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated rumours about Covid-19.

“The vaccines do not contain gelatine or pork derivatives so that should put the Jewish, Muslim and vegetarian/vegan community’s minds at rest.

“Furthermore, there is no chip involved in the vaccine process to monitor people. This is another example of anti-vaxx, no mask, COVID hoax conspiracy that has no basis in fact.

“I often wonder what the motivation is behind such conspiracies – and am amazed that those who espouse this nonsense are happy to receive holiday jabs and put food in their mouths without ever checking its contents.”

Dr Chauhan personally received the vaccine in front of on-looking cameras to demonstrate his complete confidence in the vaccine.

“The three approved vaccines now available have been created by some of the finest minds in the world. I would not hesitate in getting my family inoculated, either. Please, when invited to do so, have your vaccine. Protect yourself and others.” He added.

Stricter regulation that aims to tackle misinformation spread on social media is expected to come in later this year through the Government’s Online Harms Bill