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A crack Army unit that tackled the Taliban and al-Qaida has been deployed to stop Covidiots frightening people off vaccines.
Specialist soldiers from the elite information warfare unit are monitoring the internet for fake news scare stories.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “As we edge closer to a vaccine we continue to work closely with social media companies and other organisations to anticipate and mitigate any emerging anti-vax narratives and promote authoritative sources of information.’’
Ministers are alarmed at the impact online propaganda is having on public opinion. One report found more than a third of people were uncertain or very unlikely to be vaccinated.
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The secretive unit tasked with winning the vaccine disinformation war was launched in Afghanistan in 2010 and belongs to the Army’s 77th Brigade.
Its objective was to combat Taliban and al-Qaida rhetoric and has often worked side-by-side with psychological operations teams.
Next month the Brigade will begin an “uplift” of professional and reserve soldiers.
The move comes after 155 people were arrested during anti-lockdown protests in London’s West End on Saturday.
Govt refuses to rule out third lockdown with Brits facing 'another coronavirus wave'
Many appeared to have been influenced by anti-vax propaganda and refused to wear masks.
Ministers believe Britain will become the first western country to approve a vaccine next week.
If the BioNTech and Pfizer treatment is given the nod within days as predicted, jabs could begin next Monday.
More than 50 hospital trusts in England have been designated
as vaccine hubs.
- British Army
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