Bolton’s vaccination chief targeted with‘venomous’ online abuse after jabs picture post


THE doctor leading Bolton’s vaccine roll-out has been subjected to online abuse after posting a picture of herself being jabbed.

Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the Covid vaccine programme in the borough, said she received ‘accusatory, aggressive and unnecessary venom’ after sharing the image on Twitter on Monday.

Dr Wall, who gave Bolton’s first Covid injection and is also clinical commissioning director at Bolton CCG, said she was not upset at the ‘unwarranted abuse’ directed at her from anti-vaccination Twitter users but was ‘concerned about their level of aggression and what this means for us as a society’.

Later she said: “I stated a fact. That I’d had three Covid vaccines and so had my loved ones.

“I shared a photo of my vaccination that had been sitting unshared on my phone for weeks.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the amount of accusatory, aggressive and unnecessary venom that came my way. Wow. Just wow.

“Funny isn’t it how I never feel the need to get so angry or venomous or even jump on posts to be abusive if they don’t align with my thoughts or beliefs. It’s a common theme with this group.”

Dr Wall said she had since received many messages of support for the vaccination team in Bolton.

She added: “I want to thank every single one of you. I can promise you I’m not upset by the level of unwarranted abuse towards me from anti-vax but concerned about their level of aggression and what this means for us as a society.”

Responding to comments insinuating that ‘Covid isn’t real’, she said: “I spent first half of Covid in system response, planning extra mortuary space, worried there was not enough oxygen, waiting hours for ambulances in Covid clinics with dying patients, I barely slept in fear.

“The second half has been spent half working 70 hours a week, running the vaccine programme.”

Dr Wall’s original post, which showed her being jabbed, said: “I’m fully vaccinated as are my loved ones because I know it is the single most important thing I can do to avoid ICU or death from Covid.

“I respect my hospital colleagues who are under great strain and this is how I can help them a little.”

Among those offering support to Dr Wall, was the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas.

She said: “Keep going Helen, sticks and stones. You are appreciated by many, many more.”

Last April, Dr Wall, won The Bolton News Lockdown Heroes Awards for the outstanding contribution category for ‘embodying the spirit of Team Bolton, fighting Covid, keeping spirits high and showing inspirational leadership’.

TV’s Dr Hilary Jones hosted the ceremony and paid tribute to Dr Wall.

He said: “You are a shining light. You’re setting an example.”

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