Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades rushed to the defense of a local Pediatric Society on Monday, calling threats against its members a “disgrace” after they were targeted for recommending summer vaccinations for young teens.
A recent letter from a trial lawyer representing members of Cyprus Pediatric Society pointed to a number of comments on social media, alleging disparaging remarks, profanity, and even death threats were made against members in recent days.
CPS members have recently been taking part in a discussion with the government and other agencies to resolve whether young teens aged 12-15 ought to go ahead and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Pediatricians said they understood parents might have concerns but CPS settled on the decision to recommend vaccinations, with some health experts calling for inoculations to take place in the summer before kids would be going back to school in September.
'Threats against our pediatricians over recent days are a disgrace. The government will stand by their side. Unyielding, in opposition to medieval attitudes'
Police spokesperson Christos Andreou said a complaint filed with law enforcement authorities alleged “threats and insults against pediatricians,” with investigators trying to ascertain whether any criminal offenses may have been committed.
Additional reports also said some accounts on social media might have been fake.
President Anastasiades took to Twitter to show support for “science and scientists in country,” adding that Cyprus was one of the top EU countries with the highest vaccination coverage.”
“Threats against our pediatricians over recent days are a disgrace. The government will stand by their side. Unyielding, in opposition to medieval attitudes,” the president wrote on Twitter.
Cypriot society has been divided over the issue of vaccinations like many other parts around the world, with deniers and anti-vaxxers on one hand criticizing health officials all the time and the government on the other looking for legal ways to push for vaccinations across the board.
A recent middle-ground-approach initiative by local health experts has also been taking place on social media, aimed at responding to questions and helping sort through myth and fact regarding vaccines against COVID-19. Many questions involve scientific or medical concerns while other questions have called into question a number of measures, including Safe Pass, calling it ineffective and unfair.