COVID-19 vaccination campaigns: how far do online anti-vaccine movements go? How can pro-vaxxers be part of their change? – The European Sting – New reviews and information on European politics, economics, foreign affairs, business and technology


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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Victoria Aguiar, second year medical student at the Municipal University of Sao Caetano do Sul, Bela Vista Campus in Sao Paulo, SP – Brazil. It is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article are strictly the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA on the subject, nor of The European Sting.


Anti-vaccines, as the group calls itself, are increasing not only for the COVID-19 vaccine, but also for other injections. This minority is gaining space on social media, with accounts racking up over 38.7 million subscribers (1) and turning scientific reality into disinformation and fake news that can easily reach far more people than they do. can’t handle it. People engagement is based on collecting ambiguous information and isolated consequences of vaccines that can scare others away from getting vaccinated, especially for COVID-19. Apparently, this misinformation draws on different types of argument and can actually have an impact on how many people are actively immune to COVID-19 (2).

It seems COVID-19 was not strong enough to make people aware of the importance of bites (2) and how they are the only therapeutic way to control a disease when there is no cure proven therapies available (3).

The only strategy to combat this indiscriminate dissemination of dangerous to public health and universally harmful disinformation appears to be the removal of posts and the blocking of social media application accounts (2). It sounds drastic, but when the algorithm can’t help the vaccination and the service understand the importance of vaccines, especially in controlling a pandemic, the only way claims to be the algorithm against having this kind of content available. . On the other hand, it is similarly a loss of freedom of speech and if vaccines are applied democratically, people have the freedom to talk about them, as well as to take them if they want to. What is a glowing possibility of educating society about vaccines would be releasing the same amount of information that is fair, safe, deep-rooted, and effective – and the people responsible for leading this movement are the people related to the health (4).

To sum up, while there are profiles against vaccines, they don’t have long paths while other profiles are bigger and more informative when it comes to controlling what controls our freedom to go and to. to come. Anti-vax movements that go far is only a question of the absence of pro-vax. We, as vaccinated and informed people, must stand up and encourage that which saves – the vaccine. Our answer is to correct the same information correctly, so that anti-vaccines think twice (5).

  1. Burki T. The Online Anti-Vaccine Movement in the Age of COVID-19. Lancet Digit Health. October 2, 2020: e504-e505. doi: 10.1016 / S2589-7500 (20) 30227-2. Published online September 22, 2020. PMID: 32984795; PMCID: PMC7508526.
  2. Wadman M. Antivaccine’s strengths are winning online. Science. 2020 May 15; 368 (6492): 699. doi: 10.1126 / science.368.6492.699. PMID: 32409456.
  3. Song Y, Zhang M, Yin L, Wang K, Zhou Y, Zhou M, Lu Y. COVID-19 treatment: close to a cure? A rapid review of pharmacotherapies for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Int J Antimicrobial agents. 2020 Aug; 56 (2): 106080. doi: 10.1016 / j.ijantimicag.2020.106080. Published online July 4, 2020. PMID: 32634603; PMCID: PMC7334905.
  4. Puri N, Coomes EA, Haghbayan H, Gunaratne K. Social media and vaccine hesitation: New updates for the era of COVID-19 and global infectious diseases. Hum Vaccine Immunother. 2020 Nov 1; 16 (11): 2586-2593. doi: 10.1080 / 21645515.2020.1780846. Published online July 21, 2020. PMID: 32693678; PMCID: PMC7733887.
  5. Wilson SL, Wiysonge C. Social media and vaccine hesitation. BMJ Glob Health. October 5, 2020: e004206. doi: 10.1136 / bmjgh-2020-004206. Published online 23 October 2020. PMID: 33097547; PMCID: PMC7590343.

About the Author

Victoria Aguiar is a second year medical student at the Municipal University of Sao Caetano do Sul, Bela Vista Campus in Sao Paulo, SP – Brazil. She is part of the International Trade Council and assists as local trade manager at IFMSA Brazil USCS Bela Vista. She is interested in the dissemination of useful health information, as well as accessible health literacy.


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