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Anti-Vaxxers Have Been Placed On Australian Federal Police Watch List

Stewart Perrie


Anti-Vaxxers Have Been Placed On Australian Federal Police Watch List

Tens of thousands of Australians have been vaccinated against the coronavirus since the rollout began last week.

Health officials are hoping they can stick to their ambitious vaccination target in the hopes it will spell the end of the pandemic once and for all.

But authorities are increasingly concerned the program could be deliberately disrupted by anti-vaxxers.

It's no secret that a very vocal and minor group of Australians have been objecting to the vaccine and some have even tried to sway public opinion on social media without medical evidence to back it up.

The Sun Herald claims a specialist taskforce of Australian Federal Police officers has been created to specifically to ensure the Covid-19 vaccines around Australia are safe.

Taskforce Lotus will be a 24/7 operation that will be ready to deploy to any major security breach.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

They will also have to monitor people on social media to track public sentiments and get on top of underground networks that might be working against the government and health authorities.

A law enforcement source told the newspaper: "Everybody is concerned about this...we don't want them destroying vials (of vaccine)."

The Australian Federal Police has already highlighted their concern over the safety of the vaccine in the country.

In a submission to a federal inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism, the AFP said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a range of anti-government, anti-vaccination and pro-conspiracy narratives raising public awareness of different issue motivated groups.

"The AFP will become involved where such groups support or seek to use violence.

"Law enforcement experiences in 2020 identified an emerging trend of online extremists exploiting the increased public fear, isolation, unemployment, family stress and financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 pandemic."

Taskforce Lotus will be made up of agencies including the AFP, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australian Border Force and state police forces.

There have been plenty of viral social media posts claiming the vaccine has microchips, is controlled by the 5G network, is unsafe for humans or any other myriad conspiracy theories.

Social media networks like Facebook have been trying to clamp down on the posts and ensure people spreading misinformation about the pandemic are brought down.

But the newly formed taskforce will be making sure no one tries to make the change from online rage posting to real life actions that could affect thousands of people.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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