Anti-vaxxers are 'organized and strategic' -- and they could ruin the COVID-19 vaccine: NYT reporter
Small child receives vaccination (Shutterstock)

While much of America is holding out hope for a vaccination that will stop the spread of COVID-19, anti-vaccination activists are already preparing a massive informational warfare campaign aimed at convincing millions of Americans to forgo the eventual vaccine.

New York Times reporter Kevin Roose, who for years has been following the anti-vaxxer movement, writes that the campaign against the COVID-19 vaccine is already well under way -- and it stands a good chance of succeeding.

"They are much more organized and strategic than many of their critics believe," he writes. "They are savvy media manipulators, effective communicators and experienced at exploiting the weaknesses of social media platforms."

Roose predicts that anti-vaxxers will raise alarms about the quick development time of the COVID-19 vaccine by claiming that it was not put through a rigorous process to ensure its safety, and will also exploit fears of "mandatory vaccination" to convince people that the vaccine will put Americans' personal freedoms at risk.

"Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the W.H.O. need to understand the dynamics of online anti-vaccination communities and start waging a hearts-and-minds campaign to restore faith in the medical establishment while a vaccine is being developed," he writes. "Social media companies need to take the threat of vaccine-related misinformation seriously and devote tremendous resources to stopping its spread."

Read the whole report here.