From Starmer’s scuffle to the Siege of Ottawa: the resistible rise of the anti-vaxxers

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2023 Number 84 & 85

From Starmer’s scuffle to the Siege of Ottawa: the resistible rise of the anti-vaxxers
Steve Iliffe, Jill Manthorpe pages 239-252
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.84-85.14.2023


This article discusses the energy and aggressiveness of the campaigns against mitigating transmission of Covid-19 during the pandemic, and especially against vaccination. These campaigns have brought anti-vaxx sentiments into the limelight with a vengeance. The aim of the article is to seek a better understanding of the forms that the contemporary anti-vaxx movements can take and what is fuelling them. It has three parts. The first describes recent anti-vaxxer actions in the UK, France, Austria and Canada, highlighting the siege of Ottawa. The second part draws on the history of anti-vaxx movements in the UK and the USA for insights into their militancy; and in the third part there is an exploration of ideas about what makes anti-vaxx platforms so attractive and who is drawn towards them. Countering anti-vaxxer propaganda requires an understanding of the pathways by which the information spreads. False narratives will move from anti-vaccine echo chambers to mass audiences via social-media sharing, as well as coverage in local and mainstream media. Countering this misinformation all along the pathway requires a whole-of-society effort that is multifaceted, tolerant of short-term setbacks, and persistent even in challenging conditions. The NHS faces the whole of society. Could it, in its present state, be the vehicle for engaging the anti-vaxxer movements?

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below

    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£40 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Steve Iliffe, Jill Manthorpe (2023) From Starmer’s scuffle to the Siege of Ottawa: the resistible rise of the anti-vaxxers, Soundings, 2023(84 & 85 ), 239-252.

Share this