An anti-vax London primary school teacher has claimed COVID-19 is not a killer virus and said she and her family will not take a vaccine.
Fatema, 42, is a primary school teacher in Wembley who has opposed vaccines for more than a decade.
A YouGov poll in November suggested a quarter of Londoners are “unlikely” to take a coronavirus vaccine.
Fatema said: “I actually disagree with the very fundamental science behind vaccination.”
She has been an anti-vaxxer for 11 years, after her firstborn struggled with illness following an MMR vaccine.
Since then she has not vaccinated any of her three daughters.
Fatema believes bacteria exist but said people’s bodies should be allowed to detoxify themselves without vaccines.
She said diseases like COVID-19 should not be prevented.
She added: “The body has different ways of trying to detox itself and COVID symptoms are just the body’s own way of signalling that your environment is toxic, that you need to do something to cleanse your system.
“It’s not a germ that’s attacking you from the outside, it’s not like there’s a killer virus out there and you’ve got to avoid it.
“Symptoms are just messages and they’re not something to be suppressed.
“You don’t shoot the messenger, you listen to what the messenger says.
“This understanding there is this killer germ stems from germ theory, which I wholeheartedly disagree with.”
Germ theory is the widely accepted scientific idea that germs enter people’s bodies and multiply within them, sometimes causing disease.
Fatema said illnesses occur when stagnant energy in a person’s body is not cleansed.
She uses homeopathy and holistic lifestyle changes to fight such imbalances.
Homeopathy rests on “scientifically implausible” principles and its products “perform no better than placebos”, according to a parliamentary report.
Fatema added: “I have never worn a mask.
“I am not protecting myself.
“I shy away from using sanitiser wherever I can help it, I don’t want to put that stuff on my skin.
“For my daughter who goes to secondary school, they made everybody use the school sanitiser or carry their own, so I made her up her own sanitiser with essential oils.
“You are doing yourself a great disservice and a great harm trying to annihilate all the pathogens around you because it’s part of you.
“You have to live in harmony with it.”
Fulvio D’Aquisto, 50, is a professor of immunology at the University of Roehampton.
He said leaving yourself and your children unvaccinated risks the lives of others in the community who may have weak immune systems.
D’Aquisto added: “We do not fully understand this virus.
“We don’t know the long-term consequences of the virus.
“Vaccination is the only way forward.”
Although D’Aquisto disagrees with anti-vaxxers like Fatema, he said they are not to blame for their opinions.
He believes to change anti-vaxxers’ minds, experts should show how science works in a real-life situation as opposed to simply telling them what to believe.
He added: “There is a detachment between people in the top and people in the bottom. People have lost the ability to think by themselves. They wake up in the morning and deny reality.
“The fact that we have this false information being spread – it’s about being lonely.
“It’s about being excluded by the larger society, being victimised and separated and not listened to. There is no space for these people to say what they think. They are just receiving a filtered reality.
“They are not the actors of their life.
“I think they are lonely.”