Ignore fake news about Covid-19 vaccine, says Angela Rippon after getting jab

2020 Costa Book Awards Ceremony
2020 Costa Book Awards Ceremony

Angela Rippon has urged people to ignore the "nonsense" and "fake news" circulating on social media and get the coronavirus vaccination after having one herself.

The journalist and television presenter, 76, received her first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab on Wednesday at St Charles' Hospital in west London.

The Rip Off Britain presenter revealed that her co-stars on the BBC One show, Gloria Hunniford, 80, and Julia Somerville, 73, had also both been scheduled to receive jabs in the last 48 hours.

Addressing those who have reservations about getting the jab, she told the PA news agency: "If they are based on a lot of the fake news that is around I would say talk to someone that you trust and get the truth and not the fantasy – not the fake news."

She added: "Talk to someone that you trust. Not Facebook, not WhatsApp, not Twitter. Don't take what you hear on social media because there is so much nonsense about it, where people are never held to account so they can say whatever they like and spread whatever nonsense they like.

"Talk to someone that you trust, who will tell you that this will save your life. Don't believe the nonsense."

Rippon said getting the vaccine is "the best thing you can do at the moment to protect yourself, your family, your friends, your loved one and everyone in your community".

Recalling her 50-year career in journalism, she said: "I have had so many inoculations in my life I know the value of the vaccine against a killer disease.

"I am very well aware of it from all the years I have worked as a broadcaster travelling all over the world, to Australia, Japan, the Far East, the Middle East, Africa.

"I have at various times had just about everything you can imagine pumped into my arm – Yellow Fever, Blackwater Fever, Rabies, Hepatitis, everything.

"The whole point of a vaccination is that it protects you from an illness that is likely to kill you. We have now got a major killer in Covid-19 so having the vaccine for me is a no-brainer."

Rippon joins famous faces including actress Dame Judi Dench, broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, actor Sir Ian McKellen, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and entertainer Lionel Blair in receiving the vaccine.