Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine (Dec 2020)

Anti-vaccine movements – health care, ignorance or a diversion aimed at destabilizing the health situation? Part 2. Contemporary conditions for the functioning and development of anti-vaccination movements

  • Barbara Maria Kołłątaj,
  • Witold Piotr Kołłątaj,
  • Irena Dorota Karwat,
  • Jarosław Sobieszczański,
  • Lech Panasiuk

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 27, no. 4
pp. 553 – 561


Read online

Introduction Vaccinations are a way accepted by science of the struggle against infectious diseases. Because of their epidemiological significance, vaccinations are considered compulsory in many countries and their evasion is penalized. The WHO experts list anti-vaccine attitudes and movements among the top 10 threats to human health. Most people’s refusals are mainly due to fears of anti-vaccine propaganda. Understanding this phenomenon will be the basis for improving the epidemiological situation in Poland. Material and methods The study is based on the analysis of data stored in scientific databases, as well as information obtained from Google, Bing and Yahoo and newspapers, magazines and opinion-forming websites. Results The anti-vaccine movements occur due different motivations, such as ignorance, fear and religious beliefs. Sometimes they can be supported by foreign services aimed at destabilization in selected areas of the globe. Conclusions Increased activity and effective propaganda carried out by anti-vaccination movements is possible, among others, thanks to the development of the so-called 2nd generation of the Internet (Web2), enabling the free and difficult to control flow of information. Increasing data indicate that the activity of anti-vaccine movements may be a form of organized action (diversion in cyberspace) aimed at social, epidemiological, and economic destabilization of selected countries and regions. Among the various forms of combating anti-vaccination movements currently used are awareness-raising activities and restrictions on freedom on the Internet by monitoring information flow, blocking materials containing selected phrases or keywords associated with anti-vaccine propaganda, and sanctions imposed on people avoiding vaccination.