A repentant anti-vax activist is reportedly urging people to get vaccinated after a 'fan' of his died of COVID-19

·2 min read
Doctors gives a person a COVID-19 vaccine shot.
A doctor vaccinates a student with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine,.Markus Schreiber/AP Photo
  • An Italian anti-vaxxer, who spoke at 300 protests, told a newspaper he wants to "remedy" his mistakes.

  • Pasquale Bacco now urges his followers to get vaccinated after one of his fans died of COVID-19.

  • Bacco described anti-vax leaders, including himself, as "bastards" who should be held accountable.

An Italian doctor who was a prominent voice in Italy's anti-vaccine movement has had a change of heart, according to reports.

Pasquale Ba cco spoke at around 300 anti-vaccine protests in Italy, Newsweek reported, and had thousands of followers opposed to getting shots.

But after one died of COVID-19, he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Messogiorno that he became racked with guilt.

Now, a repentant Bacco is vaccinated and is urging his followers to do the same.

Bacco told Corriere della Messogiorno that the death of a 29-year-old follower deeply impacted him.

"The family told me that he was a fan of mine," Bacco said. "They didn't tell me with anger, on the contrary, and this hurt me even more."

He continued, "I feel like that death was my fault, and that still bothers me today."

Anti-vaccine leaders have "deaths on our conscience," Bacco told the paper, adding that he thinks they should be held accountable for their actions.

"We were really big bastards. I don't hide it. That's the truth," he said. "For this, I have asked for forgiveness from everyone, but that forgiveness is useless."

Bacco said he was, in part, motivated by the financial incentive of building a brand as a prominent anti-vaxxer.

The doctor told Corriere della Messogiorno that his private business increased a "thousandfold," and he could charge patients whatever he liked.

"I'm trying to remedy my mistakes," he said.

In a video shared on Instagram in December 2021, Bacco urged his Instagram followers to get vaccinated. In a major departure from his previous positions, he described the COVID-19 vaccine as the only "concrete" and "effective" way to fight the virus.

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