Australia's anti-vaxxer hot spots

Anti-vaxxers ‘kill off’ doctor to spread COVID lies

Anti-vaxxers have been caught out in another huge lie about COVID-19 - this time "killing" an intensive care doctor.

Dr Rachel Heap had her COVID-19 vaccine last Monday and posted on social media her thumbs-up joy at finally getting immunised against a virus that has so far killed 2.74 million worldwide.

"I was really excited to have it and I used it as an opportunity to show I was walking the walk," she said.

Dr Rachel Heap posts her vaccine shot on social media last week.
Dr Rachel Heap posts her vaccine shot on social media last week.

But a day later, an anti-vaxxer from Byron Bay posted: "Sadly, moments after her vaccination, this lady passed out and fell into a coma … she is still not conscious … doctors fear she will not recover."

But Dr Heap is alive and well.

"I'm very much alive and I've had barely any side effects apart from being a bit tired on the first day," Dr Heap said.

"And I can tell I've been vaccinated because I feel hope and optimism and that feels really good.

"But I'm not surprised they lied, it is what anti-vaxxers do."

Dr Heap is one of the founding member of the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters Facebook group, which was set up in 2012 to fight the anti-vax misinformation around the Byron shire.

"I've doing this nine years and what I see in the anti-vax movement is they lie and lie over and over again," she said.

The ICU specialist has seen first-hand the devastating impacts of not vaccinating.

"Every year without fail I look after people dying from influenza, and I did time in a kid's ICU and I looked after two babies with whooping cough - one did survive but very nearly didn't, and the second baby sadly didn't survive," Dr Heap said.

One of the posts ‘killing off’ Dr Rachel Heap after she took the COVID vaccine.
One of the posts ‘killing off’ Dr Rachel Heap after she took the COVID vaccine.

But the pandemic has reinvigorated the anti-vax movement and misinformation on COVID vaccines is rife on social media.

"It feels utterly overwhelming at the moment, it feels like a tsunami out there," Dr Heap said.

"The money and the power behind the misinformation campaigns is immense and it is endless.

"It feels like we are just putting on a bandaid … we need to turn off the tap on misinformation at the source."

A new report by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate has named the top "Disinformation Dozen" - US-based anti-vaxxers who are generating the most anti-vaccine propaganda and exporting it to the world.

"Analysis of a sample of anti-vaccine content that was shared or posted on Facebook and Twitter a total of 812,000 times between 1 February and 16 March 2021 shows that 65 per cent of anti-vaccine content is attributable to the Disinformation Dozen," the report said.

The "Disinformation Dozen" are mostly osteopaths, chiropractors and in the multimillion-dollar wellness industry.

They are Joseph Mercola, Robert F. Kennedy Jr from the Children's Health Defence, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, Sherri Tenpenny, Rizza Islam, Rashid Buttar, Erin Elizabeth, Sayer Ji, Kelly Brogan, Christiane Northrup, Ben Tapper and Kevin Jenkins.

Originally published as Anti-vaxxers 'kill off' doctor to spread COVID lies



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