Backlash against sportsman’s post about his young daughter highlights lingering distrust

When Ivan Zaytsev, a volleyball player with Italy’s national team and an Olympic medallist, posted a picture of himself alongside his child on social media last week, it wasn’t intended to be a political statement.

His seven-month-old daughter had just received a vaccine and Zaytsev wanted to celebrate her bravery. But within seconds he was hit with a deluge of abuse from anti-vaccine activists. The attacks ranged from accusations of being bankrolled by pharmaceutical companies to chilling messages wishing for his child to contract a disease.

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