Lockdown protesters outside Parliament House in Melbourne (Image: AAP/Scott Barbour)

It's bracing but perhaps not surprising to see that Donald Trump was fanning the false link between vaccination and autism back in 2014.

Saint Louis University Assistant Professor of Law Ana Santos Rutschman has reported on an increase in anti-vaxxer misinformation from 2014, with some of that rise traced back to automated messaging, or bots, generated from Russia.

In Australia, Christine Baynes, who is part of a loose alliance of "active skeptics" with an interest in the anti-vax movement, told Inq that 2015 marked the time when anti-vaxxer messaging which had been prevalent for well over a decade became fused with an overarching anti-science and anti-government narrative, eventually linking up with the 5G conspiracy theory which ties the 5G network to the spread of coronavirus and holds that Bill Gates is behind a plan to control the world through vaccination.