Where did the Anti-Vax movement come from?

Italy disputes compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 - although there is no vaccine yet

The "No Vax" movement speaks out against experiments with subjects.

The vaccine against the coronavirus has not yet been developed, but Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by SARS-CoV-2, is already discussing the possibility of mandatory vaccination for all citizens. Vice Minister of Health Pierpaolo Sileri poured fuel on the fire, according to which vaccination is the only concrete way to eradicate the corona virus.

"In view of the damage that the virus has caused, vaccination against Covid-19 should be compulsory. Once the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine are guaranteed, everyone should be vaccinated so that no one can become infected," said the Vice Minister of Health who fell ill with the coronavirus himself and has since recovered.

Walter Ricciardi, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) and advisor to the Italian Ministry of Health, sees no need to introduce compulsory vaccinations. "The Italians have personally experienced the fear of the disease and will be vaccinated voluntarily," said Ricciardi. In his view, vaccination centers in Italy should be strengthened as there will be an onslaught of citizens who want to be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.

The Italian Minister of Health Roberto Speranza called for an international alliance so that once the vaccine against Covid-19 has been developed, it can be distributed to all countries, including poorer ones. Due to high demand, there could be bottlenecks in the supply of the vaccine.

Tests "like the Nazis"

The prospect of compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 angered a wide group of vaccinators in Italy. For years, they have been fighting a tough battle against the mandatory vaccination of children against ten diseases, which the government introduced in 2017, including measles, meningitis, tetanus, polio, mumps, whooping cough and wet leaf disease. With the introduction of compulsory vaccination, the anti-vaccination movement "No Vax", which had already been widespread, gained momentum in Italy. Their followers distrust vaccination specialists and medical professionals. They call for the immediate abolition of compulsory vaccinations and claim that vaccines are harmful to health.

The leader of the "No Vax" movement is the Roman parliamentarian Sara Cunial. This is against the suggestion of the well-known virologist Roberto Burioni to vaccinate young people such as members of the military or old people in retirement homes against the coronavirus and then to infect them with the SARS-CoV-2 to determine whether the vaccine is effective. The parliamentarian called on the government to distance itself from "ethically questionable" scientific experiments on healthy people in order to test the effectiveness of the vaccine. Such experiments would be "National Socialist tests" according to Cunial. "Experiments on subjects at the expense of civil servants would be a criminal act that violates fundamental human rights," said Cunial.

The union federation of the Italian military was also concerned about the prospect of tests on soldiers. "We are not guinea pigs," emphasized the union's spokesman.