In 1927, an article in the venerable medical journal the Lancet commented on the opposition to smallpox vaccination in terms that have an eerie resonance today. “We still meet the belief … that vaccination is a gigantic fraud deliberately perpetuated for the sake of gain … The opposition to vaccination … like many emotional reactions, is supported by a wealth of argument which the person reacting honestly believes to be the logical foundation of his behaviour.” When I first read this, I was researching climate science denial. But it fits the fervent beliefs of Covid deniers and antivaxxers just as well.
Antivaxxers seize on an occasional dissenting study and exploit it for all it’s worth even after it has been discredited Prone to “conspiracist ideation”, many anti-vaccination activists appear to believe Covid-19 is a hoax. They dismiss experts as frauds lining their pockets, refuse to accept any evidence that contradicts their beliefs, and create their own world of self-reinforcing truth.