Anti-vaxxers have been waging a campaign against vaccines on social media for years, but now that we're in a global pandemic and a vaccine is likely the only way out, the possible effects of these efforts are far more serious. A lot of misinformation has been spread about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, since this pandemic began, often by bots, and it appears a lot of people believe what they're seeing on social media.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 40 percent of Americans believe that Bill Gates, who is contributing to the development of a vaccine, is planning to use the vaccine to inject people with microchips in order to track them. This is widely debunked conspiracy theory, but it's just one of many conspiracy theories being spread on social media.
A study published in the journal Nature earlier this month found that observed anti-vaxxers on social media interacted more with people who are on the fence about vaccines than vaccine supporters did. The researchers behind the study analyzed nearly 100 million Facebook users across 37 countries last year.