The British Army's Information Warfare Unit will be deployed to tackle anti-vaccine propaganda ahead of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, it has been revealed.
Soldiers are already monitoring cyberspace for Covid-19 content to find out how British citizens are being targeted online, leaked documents showed.
It comes amid a rise in the number of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests taking place around Britain as three potential vaccines were found to have around 90 per cent effectiveness.
In other coronavirus news:
Yesterday medical companies Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that initial results from a massive clinical trial suggested nine out of 10 people who get their jab are protected by it, prompting wild conspiracy theories from anti-vaxxers
The defence cultural specialist unit was launched in Afghanistan in 2010 and is tied to the army's 77th Brigade, which often works with psycological operations teams, reported The Sunday Times.
A probe into vaccine disinformation from hostile states, including Russia, will be launched.
The team will start recruiting professional and reserve soldiers to help in its mammoth task as the Government prepares the country for mass vaccinations as soon as next month.
At least 155 anti-lockdown protesters were arrested in central London yesterday after hundreds of people gathered at Hyde Park before heading towards Oxford Street.
Demonstrators marched through Westminster chanting 'shame on you' and 'freedom'. Others, dressed as Christmas elves, waved signs reading 'All I want for Christmas is my freedom back', 'Ditch the face masks' and 'Stop controlling us'.
Earlier this month businesses were fined tens of thousands of pounds for refusing to close during lockdown.
Many used the Magna Carta as a defence - quoting an article that allowed Barons to ignore unfair rules in the 13th Century.
It was never passed into common law and cannot protect businesses from fines.
Some people are calling for 'action,' to be taken against a vaccine - as others claim it is a 'mass sterilisation programme'
Sinead Quinn, who owns Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, near Bradford, West Yorks., was fined £27,000 for refusing to close.
Meanwhile, several mothers on the Save Our Rights UK Facebook page declared they would not be taking a coronavirus vaccine and nor would their children.
Another user claimed it was a 'mass sterilisation programme', while some even called for action against the injection.
Ministers have become alarmed at the impact online propaganda is having on the public's opinion of coronavirus lockdown and its vaccine.
Many Brits are enraged and feel the Government is weilding too much power in its enforcement of restrictions.
A protester held a tongue in cheek sign aloft reading: 'I'm so angry I made a sign'. Protesters flooded the streets of London on Saturday
Protesters in London on Saturday held up signs peddling conspiracy theories, including that Covid-19 was just a new name for diseases that already exist. Another sign questioned why the Government was still enforcing lockdown
Another sign read: 'No more lies, no more masks, no more lockdowns'. Protestors disagree with the Government's continued use of the tiered system from next week
A BioNTech and Pfizer treatment is set to receive approval within days, paving the way for injections as soon as December 7.
A public campaign will then be launched across television and radio to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated, starting with NHS workers.
Yesterday, conspiracy theories claiming vaccines were a cover to plant trackable microchips into people was available online.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the 77th Brigade will not be working against the British people, but instead looking at what impact other countries have on our cyber networks.
Last night a Cabinet Office spokesman told the newspaper: 'As we edge closer to a vaccine we continue to work closely with social media companies and other organisations to anticipate and mitigate any emerging anti-vax narratives and promote authoritative sources of information.'