It took a global coronavirus pandemic to do it, but some anti-vaxxers are starting to quietly reconsider their long-held stances.

Staunch opponents of mandatory vaccinations have long held that side effects can result in conditions like autism.  

But now some of the same longtime critics are recognizing that it's harder to deny the effectiveness of a working vaccine in the middle of a global pandemic. 

It's easier to hold contrarian views when they are not being tested by a global outbreak where a vaccine could make all the difference. So holding the line against preventative measures becomes harder to do.

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The anti-vax issue returned to the headlines this weekend when tennis player Novak Djokovic outed himself as a sympathizer during a Facebook Live chat.

"Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," Djokovic said.

"But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know."

Not all anti-vaxxers are being open-minded about the efficacy of vaccinations. Some have bluntly suggested that the coronavirus is not as virulent as reports make out and that medical experts have simply been fear-mongering. 

Others, on the outer fringes of the debate, have suggested that the virus was maliciously created and insist that the speed with which a vaccine is being pursued is either reckless or preplanned.

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Paranoia about the role and aims of corporations, health industries, and the government are frequent issues in these circles.

But prominent Irish American's like Robert Kennedy Jr. and actress and activist Jenny McCarthy have also joined the anti-vax numbers and if standing in opposition to medical science is an increasingly tough call in the current climate they aren't flinching. 

Kennedy Jr. recently accused Bill Gates and top public health officials on Twitter of plotting to produce a vaccine that posed “unique and frightening dangers."

Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) at least seventy potential coronavirus vaccines are currently being developed, with three already in clinical trials.

The anti-vax community is increasingly divided about how to respond to this.

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