Boris Johnson accuses anti-vaccine campaigners of speaking 'mumbo jumbo'
The BBC reported that Boris Johnson has accused anti-vaccine campaigners of speaking "mumbo jumbo" when it comes to coronavirus jabs.
The prime minister said those spreading false information on social media were "totally wrong" and it was time for him "to call them out".
Some European countries are making vaccination mandatory, but Mr Johnson stressed it was important for the UK to maintain its voluntary approach.
Mr Johnson, who was speaking while on a visit to a vaccination centre in Northampton, said: "I want to say to the anti-vax campaigners, the people who are putting this mumbo jumbo on social media: they are completely wrong.
"You haven't heard me say that before, because I think it's important we have a voluntary approach in this country and we're going to keep a voluntary approach."
Mr Johnson said some other European nations were going for "coercion".
The prime minister said: "What a tragedy that we've got all this pressure on the NHS, all the difficulties that our doctors and nurses are experiencing, and we've got people out there spouting complete nonsense about vaccination.
"They are totally wrong, and I think it's time that I, the government, call them out on what they're doing. It's absolutely wrong, it's totally counterproductive, and the stuff they're putting out on social media is complete mumbo jumbo."
Mr Johnson said while Omicron is milder than previous variants, "the pressures on hospitals are clear".
The number of hospital trusts to have declared critical incidents amid staffing shortages and rising numbers of coronavirus cases has now risen to 24.
But the prime minister said it was not true that the NHS does not have enough staff to cope with the increasing pressure - with staff numbers increasing, retired staff being called back and volunteers being used.
What we've got to do is give the NHS all the help we can through the next period, with all the simplifications of systems, moving staff from one hospital to another, all the ways we can back staff up, but also make sure that the people who are likely to get ill get vaccinated first.
"The saddest words in the English language are 'too late'. When you're in ICU and you haven't been vaccinated, sadly it's too late to get vaccinated, so get boosted now."
He thanked "doctors, nurses, all health staff, everybody, for what they're doing to keep going".