What drives Aussie anti-vax movement

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The anti-vax community is often discounted as just a minor problem in Australia. But there is a key reason this group is so passionate.

As Australia tries to vaccinate itself against COVID-19, the anti-vax community has become harder to reach and been “underestimated”.

The Millions March Against Mandatory Covid Vaccinations rallies were attended by hundreds in Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Brisbane on the weekend.

Prominent anti-vaxxer Pete Evans spoke at the rally in Sydney, where hundreds also marched through the city.

Dr Kaz Ross, an independent academic who researches online conspiracies, told news.com.au that events like the anti-vaccine protests unified the people who were opposed to getting the jab.

During one speech at the Sydney rally, a father blamed his son’s non-verbal autism on vaccines.

It brought one woman to tears and led others to cheer him on.

Dr Ross said anti-vaccine communities in Australia have “definitely been underestimated”.

“If you look online it’s quite a few thousand people online, commenting and getting involved, but a lot of people don’t say much, and don’t get involved (online),” she said.

She said the anti-vax community could be much larger in Australia and that the online engagement was not a true indicator…

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