Well, it has finally happened. News this week of widespread and disruptive anti-vaccine protests at Canadian medical centres means that America’s destructive, self-defeating and totally nonsensical anti-vaccine movement has begun crossing the border.
As a pediatrician, vaccine-scientist and parent of an adult daughter with autism and intellectual disabilities, I have had a front-row seat to America’s anti-vaccine movement for the last two decades. I’m also a lead target, and sometimes known as the ‘OG Villain’ for writing the book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism a few years back.
Today, the anti-vaccine movement has three major drivers. One of them is anti-science aggression from the far-right, as highlighted above. However, there are also at least a dozen non-governmental groups identified by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate as responsible for approximately two-thirds of the anti-vaccine disinformation in America.
The third is Russian propaganda, which promotes anti-vaccine disinformation as a means to destabilize the U.S. and other democratic countries, possibly including Canada.