SOME hardcore anti-vaxxers are so worried about the killer coronavirus that they are keen for a protective vaccine.
But other anti-vaxxers are still gearing up for a fight against any potential new vaccine, as they vow to not be injected "with anything", say reports.
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An American mum-of-three, Stephanie, told Reuters that she has been a long-time member of online "anti-vaxxer" groups.
But the pandemic's rising death toll across the world is starting to change her mind.
The mum – who didn't want to share her surname for fear of a backlash from staunch anti-vaxxers – admitted, "I've definitely thought about it [the coronavirus vaccine]."
"We're all being affected by this virus, schools closing, young people in hospital, and they [campaigners] still say it's a hoax," she added.
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.
A Brit declared on Facebook, "refuse, demonstrate," in response to a question on how they would react if a vaccine was made mandatory.
But some virologists say the push for a vaccine is so widely supported that any such resistance will eventually be eroded.
In the US, Floridian Haley Searcy, 26, told CNN that when her daughter was born last year, she initially refused to have her vaccinated.
But she "begrudgingly" did a U-turn after speaking with her paediatrician.
And this year has seen Haley have a further change of heart after seeing the huge impact of coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 170,000 lives worldwide, including nearly 43,000 in the US.
She told the broadcaster: "Since Covid-19 I've seen firsthand what these diseases can do when they're not being fought with vaccines.
"My mother has a lung disease, so if she gets Covid-19 there is no fighting.
"So many lives are at stake, including people I care about who are very vulnerable."
Surveys also reveal a reverse in beliefs.
POLL SHOWS SUPPORT
In France, a 2018 poll showed one-in-three people did not view vaccines as safe, according to the Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP), a research group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Now, just 18 per cent would refuse a coronavirus vaccine, found a VCP poll of about 1,000 people on March 18, a day after France was locked down to fight the pandemic.
Laurent-Henri Vignaud, who co-authored a history of France's anti-vax movement, recently told Reuters: "If a vaccine were made available tomorrow, everyone would jump to get it."
But his views were rejected by Mary Holland, vice-chair of American non-profit group Children's Health Defense, which is critical of vaccination in the US.
She said: "I don't think this virus fundamentally changes people's deeply held concerns about vaccines."
Fellow American Vicki Barneck, 67, who believes a strong immune system is enough to combat the disease, added: "I will not be injected with anything, especially a fast-tracked vaccine."
Barmy anti-vaxxers have been spreading wild conspiracy theories on Facebook linking the coronavirus to everything from Bill Gates to the New World Order – while questioning if it's even a pandemic at all.
As the Government races to find a cure for Covid-19 by autumn, the Arnica Parents' Support Network is continuing to plug anti-vaccination propaganda to nearly 40,000 people, with members sharing bogus remedies and myths like the discredited 5G hoax.
What is an anti-vaxxer?
AN anti-vaxxer is someone who either refuses to be vaccinated or allow their children to be vaccinated.
Since the pioneering work of Edward Jenner in the late 18th century on developing vaccines for smallpox, people have protested against the treatment for a variety of reasons.
Public debate around vaccine hesitancy has previously included issues relating to the safety of the treatment.
And ethical objections have been made on civil liberties grounds against mandatory vaccination programmes.
But anti-vaccination as an ideology is seen as contradicting the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus and has historically led to deaths from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
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