COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: analyzing antivaccine
rhetoric on Greek Facebook

Authors: Iliana Giannouli, Achilleas Karadimitriou, Ioanna Archontaki, Stylianos Papathanassopoulos

Publisher: Online Media and Global Communication

Date: 5 June 2024




The distinction between beliefs and facts, as well as between science and pseudoscience, appears to be hazy in the post-truth era. This study draws inspiration from public discourse concerning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic, aiming to explore the narratives of COVID-19 vaccine skeptics within the Greek online public sphere.


For the purposes of our study, we analyzed Facebook posts from users’ pages and public groups during a three-month period (from September 2021 to November 2021), focusing primarily on content related to COVID-19 vaccination. By employing thematic analysis, we investigated the main themes upon which the anti-vaccination camp bases its rhetoric and the sources it uses to justify its claims.


Our findings suggest that in the Greek online context, the anti-vaccination discourse, as expressed on Facebook platform, is an amalgam of distrust towards institutional actors (politicians, the medical community, legacy media, the establishment in general) and concerns regarding the safety/complications of COVID-19 vaccination itself.

Social implications

Our study contributes to the existing body of academic literature addressing the impact of social media platforms on public opinion related to health matters. It underscores the potential and challenges associated with the unregulated dissemination of information within polarized digital contexts.


This study sheds light on the distinctive characteristics of anti-vaccine rhetoric, as expressed on social media, within the context of Greek society. It offers insights to scholars and researchers interested in the dynamics of social media discourse and its implications for public health communication.

You can download the article here and on the EUMEPLAT Community on Zenodo here.