Anti-vaxxers are already peddling bizarre theories about coronavirus vaccine claiming it’s a plot to microchip the world – The Sun
Experts fear the bizarre theories and scaremongering from the anti-vaxxer community will make it even more difficult to eradicate COVID-19 once a vaccine becomes available.
Scientists and pharmaceutical companies across the world are vying to seek a cure for the deadly disease, while committed anti-vaxxers are gearing up for a fight against any potential new vaccine.
Vaccine opponents have made several unsubstantiated and often discredited claims about the coronavirus – which many have dubbed a 'plan-demic' – including allegations that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, is blocking cures to enrich vaccine makers and that the pandemic has been "exaggerated" by the media.
They've also falsely claimed that Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to use a vaccine to inject microchips into people – or to cull 15 per cent of the world population.
In recent weeks, Facebook groups supporting anti-vaxxers have downplayed the risks of the COVID-19 and criticized efforts to control the spread of the virus.
One anti-vaccination group, the Arnica Parents' Support Network, have hone as far as to claim the flu jab was contaminated with coronavirus.
Some went on to claim COVID-19 is not a pandemic at all – despite at least 3,231,701 confirmed cases worldwide, and 229,447 recorded deaths.
Other dangerous theories that have emerged since the pandemic was declared include a rumour the 5G network was responsible for the coronavirus.
The rumours have led to phone masts used for critical communication being torched and damaged.
Others have suggested Bill Gates seized on the pandemic to implement the New World Order, citing a 2015 Ted Talk in which he predicted an unnamed virus could kill up to 33 million people.
While the Ted Talk is real, and saw the Microsoft billionaire warn that the world was not ready to combat a virus similar to the 1918 Spanish flu, he clearly urged governments to invest in research.
Others have speculated that the flu vaccine is contaminated with coronavirus, claiming the virus is being used as a ploy to move to “a police state,” and that a vaccine was patented before the outbreak, suggesting the crisis was planned.
Despite the over a million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US, vaccine opponents continue to endorse unapproved treatments, second-guessing medical experts and pushing fears about mandatory vaccinations.
They've also latched onto protests against stay-at-home orders in the US.
Last week, an anti-vaccine activist was arrested in Idaho after repeatedly refusing police orders to leave a playground closed because of the pandemic.
The woman, who was there with other families, is affiliated with two groups that protested at the Idaho Statehouse against stay-at-home orders.
Health professionals have warned vaccine misinformation could have deadly lethal consequences amid the pandemic, if it leads people away from traditional medicinal.
Dr. Scott Ratzan, a physician and medical misinformation expert at the City University of New York and Columbia University has disputed the anti-vaxxer claims, defiant that only a coronavirus vaccine can truly protect us from future outbreaks.
Dr Ratzan said: “But what if the effort succeeds and large numbers of people decide not to vaccinate themselves or their children?”
The World Health Organisation has also dismissed natural 'remedies' for the virus, including eating garlic and drinking hot water.
On Monday, during remarks recognizing World Immunization Week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticized vaccine skeptics for spreading misinformation at a time when many families are delaying or skipping routine childhood immunizations because they're afraid of COVID-19 exposure in doctors' offices.
He added: "Myths and misinformation about vaccines are adding fuel to the fire."
Campaigners have long protested against vaccinations, despite evidence that they have eradicated diseases like polio and diphtheria and had almost eradicated measles, citing a distrust of modern medicine and government.
Others say mandatory vaccine requirements violate their religious freedom.
Health experts have repeatedly said there is no evidence the coronavirus was intentionally created or spread. They also insist that vaccines are not only safe, but essential to global health.
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