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Anti-vax Antagonists – Issue 14

The COVID Vaccine is rolling out in New Zealand and it isn’t without speculation. Some citizens criticise it’s efficiency. Other’s support science in favour of the greater good. If you’ve ever encountered an anti-vaxxer, they can be extremely difficult to reason with. But the next time you argue with an anti-vaxxer on Facebook, you’ll have the informed upperhand. 


What Makes an Anti-vaxxer?

I believe the answer lies in who or what informs our choices and identities. With the majority of us falling into the middle-class, it seems we don’t have the free-will we thought we had when it comes to the government and it’s choices. Because of the class we are born into, we often unconsciously behave in, feel and think a certain way. It is clear to see the distinct behaviour of the 1% compared to the behaviour of the lower-middle-class. We internalise these social conditions, thereby establishing responses to our external environment. Vaccination is both symbolic and deeply ingrained in body performances of autonomy, identity, class and social relations. These symbols can be transferred through generations explaining why anti-vaxxers tend to run in families. 


Social Determinants

Vaccine skepticism is inherently social. Informed choice has become an expectation among parents, young adults and children. Health in this case is perceived as a moral responsibility. The issue translates back to the state who have ‘responsibilised’ citizens in a way they have adopted the title of health experts. A construction like this justifies a ‘think for ourselves’ and develops a mistrust in modern science and medicine. Other examples show an external reward (attention) is directed to parents who are anti-vax. 


Anti-vax Affecting Others

The longer COVID lingers on the face of our planet, the more variants will appear. Practices need to be placed to combat vaccine aggression, mainly for the health of our community. A virus on a large scale developing at rapid paces puts families, economies, governments and whole states in danger. We need to rework ‘responsibilised’ citizens because when we reject modern science it can easily lead to conspiracies. Myths such as vaccines cause autism have been transmitted through social capital and class. When people are aware of the hurtful transmission of myths, attitudes can change. If education can replace misinformation it ensures a safer future.