A series of Instagram videos showing a woman struggling to walk after being jabbed appears to be fuelling anti-vaccine sentiment among younger people.
In one of the posts, Georgia-Rose Segal, 34, is seen staggering before nearly collapsing on to a kitchen floor. Another clip in the same series then shows her legs and feet spasming in a hospital bed.
The videos were uploaded to the Instagram account Imjustbait, which has attracted 4.7 million followers since it was set up by Anthony ‘Antz’ Robb in 2014.
The caption reads: ‘Since the 29th June after her second Pfizer jab, Georgia has had daily episodes of fainting, developing into neurological issues and losing the use of her legs. And yes, she was perfectly fit and healthy before!’
The post, which has more than 100,000 likes, sparked debate in the comment section, with several popular Instagram users outlining fears about possible side-effects from the coronavirus vaccine.
While Ms Segal’s condition is extremely rare, it is an acknowledged side effect, so Instagram is not taking the video down.
Recent figured have revealed that while infections among young adults have soared to a record high, vaccine uptake has slowed to a fraction of what it was in the spring.
One in three 18-to-29 year olds have still not had a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, NHS England figures show.
But the virus is running rampant in this age group, with more than one in 100 aged 20 to 29 testing positive last week.
One comment from an account which has 86,000 followers on the video of Ms Segal says: ‘This is why I have not got it yet, I’ll get it if it’s life and death but mans had covid and got over it like a cold and no one gave man a vaccine for my cold.’
In one of the posts, Georgia-Rose Segal, 34, is seen struggling to walk before nearly collapsing on to a kitchen floor
Another, from a user with 20,000 followers, says: ‘And this is the s*** they’re trying to force into everyone’s bodies… no thanks, had worse colds than Covid.’
Others write that the risk of developing the neurological condition is very low, and typically caused by emotional or psychological distress.
‘It’s unfortunate for sure, but I’ve had both of mine and I’m perfectly fine, I would really urge everyone to get it,’ one user writes.
Ms Segal said her Instagram page had originally been ‘very private’, but she made it an open account because her friends wanted to share her experience, The Times reports.
The Imjustbait account then offered to publish her videos.
Having spent nine days in hospital, Ms Segal now hopes to crowdfund enough money to see an alternative medicine specialist in California to treat her fainting and leg condition.
Around three million young adults in the UK are yet to be vaccinated, even though all over-18s have been eligible since June 18.
Public Health England yesterday revealed that case rates among those in their 20s are higher than in any age group since the pandemic began.
The current weekly infection rate of 1,155 cases per 100,000 compares to a rate of just 60 per 100,000 in those over 80.
In total, 88 per cent of adults have had their first dose, but this falls to 66 per cent among those aged 18 to 29.
The video appears to have stoked scepticism over the benefits of the Covid vaccine.
After watching the clips, 23-year-old Birmingham waitress Kevani Aird, could not stop thinking about them.
One of the videos posted on Instagram shows Ms Segal struggling to walk in a hospital ward
She does not want to get vaccinated, and none of her immediate family have been jabbed.
Ms Aird said: ‘I don’t trust it, to be honest with you. I just don’t trust the government in general. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.’
While 44% of under-30s are now vaccinated, Birmingham has the lowest level of any English local authority.
But despite last month’s ‘Glastonbury-style’ rush from young people to get vaccinated, parts of Britain are now seeing a slump in uptake.
The lower risk of Covid to younger people could play a part in the hesitancy to get vaccinated.
Just 237 under-30s are among the more than 140,000 people to have died with Covid on their death certificates.
Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Martin Marshall, said that risk of infertility is ‘probably the biggest concern’ he heard from young people.
NHS trusts and councils have been stressing that these claims are false on social media.
Aston University science student Sasha Bunn, 20, was positive about getting vaccinated but had seen a number of negative online posts about women ‘being less fertile’.
While the clips of Ms Segal are not being removed, the videos have been ‘restricted’, meaning it will not be recommended and will be less prominent.
Instagram said: ‘We are running the largest online vaccine information campaign in history, and through our work with the NHS and UK government we’ve directed over 13.5 million visits to accurate information about the virus and approved vaccines.’