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Matters of Communication: Handelsblatting the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

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Matters of Communication: Handelsblatting the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine


Submitted by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is fast becoming a subject of notoriety.  First, will States obtain it?  Second, will they use it?  The first answer has generally been affirmative, given the vaccine’s ease of storage and relative cheapness.  The second is becoming increasingly difficult.

Orders have been made and supplies – some of them anyway – furnished, but vials and batches are not being used.  Countries are either restricting or suspending the jab.  AstraZeneca finds itself mounting what can only be a round-the-clock communications battle trying to dissuade officials not to put the brakes on.

Various artillery pieces have been marshalled against it.  In late January, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed disappointment with the vaccine a mere few hours before the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved its use on all adults.  “The real problem on AstraZeneca is that it doesn’t work the way we were expecting it to,” he told press members.  “We’re waiting for the EMA results, but today everything points to thinking it is quasi-effective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older.”

Even before any rollout, the vaccine’s name was already being blackened, if not smudged.  The EMA’s words of approval (“as there is reliable information on safety in this population, EMA’s scientific experts considered that the vaccine can be used in older adults”) seemed lost in the noisy scepticism being promoted by such outlets as the Handelsblatt.  In late January this year, the finance paper claimed that the vaccine “apparently has an effectiveness of only 8% in the elderly”, an assertion drawn from an “anonymous government source”.  A follow-up story did not allay any doubts, with the paper insisting it had the words of an unnamed health ministry bureaucrat.  “Confusion is out of the question.  According to data available to us so far, effectiveness in people over 60 is less than 10%.”

The falseness of the claim did little to trouble the paper’s political correspondent, Gregor Waschinski.  “I understand that some would like to see the story substantiated with actual data,” he tweeted.  “However, this is not an academic preprint but a sourced piece of political reporting.”  This reduction of scientific accuracy to political, sloppy expediency prompted Markus Lehmkuhl, a science communications academic based at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, to despair.  “Precise scientific information” had been attributed to one “unsuitable source, who, to make matters worse, did not want to be quoted by name.”

Recommendations from various countries advocating not using AstraZeneca’s vaccine for the elderly subsequently proliferated.  STIKO, the German Standing Committee on Vaccination, was quick in recommending against using the vaccine for those aged 65 and over.  The Committee head, Thomas Mertens, tried to clear the air of confusion induced by the Handelsblatt’s reporting.  The recommendation was “not about critique of the vaccine, but of the lack of data,” he told the BMJ.  “When there is more and better data, STIKO will change its recommendation.”

France followed.  “This recommendation will be re-examined in the light of availability of additional data,” promised France’s national health authority HAS.  Sweden’s Public Health Agency also revealed it was waiting for data “from an ongoing and large US clinical trial in Phase 3” that “will include a sufficient number of older participants to be able to draw more certain conclusions regarding the protective effort.”

In South Africa, a more drastic step was taken.  Use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was totally suspended, with fears about efficacy, notably against the South African COVID-19 variant.  The February 10 announcement from the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize showed a tilting of the government towards the Johnson & Johnson candidate. “Given the outcome of the efficacy studies [the government] will continue with the planned phase one vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson vaccines instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The latest round of concerns centre on whether the vaccine, or certain batches of it, have encouraged the forming of blood clots.  Italy’s medicines authority AIFA took what it called a “precautionary” measure to ban the ABV2856 batch after the deaths of two men in Sicily following inoculation.  The agency added that no link had yet been established between the vaccine and subsequent “serious adverse events.”  Austria’s own decision to suspend use was directed at the company’s ABV5300 batch after a woman died 10 days after inoculation due to “severe blood coagulation problems” (multiple thrombosis).

Batch ABV5300, delivered to 17 EU countries, compromises 1 million doses.  Of those, suspensions as precautionary approaches have taken place in several countries, including Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Rumbles have also been registered in Scandinavia after Denmark recorded the death of a 60-year-old woman from a blood clot after receiving a dose from the ABV5300 batch.  A two-week suspension of shots was imposed.  “It is currently not possible to conclude whether there is a link,” wrote Health Minister Magnus Heunicke on Twitter.  “We are acting early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated.”

Norway did not wish to be out of step.  “This is a cautionary decision,” chorused the director of infection prevention and control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).  The duration of the suspension was not clarified.  “We … await information to see if there is a link between the vaccination and this case with a blood clot.”  And just to make the picture complete, Iceland joined the vaccine suspension family.

On March 11, the EMA tried to stem any prospect of panic. “There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”  It added that the benefits of the vaccine “continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing.”

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) called the measure by Iceland, Denmark and Norway merely “precautionary”. “It has not been confirmed that the report of a blood clot was caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine.  People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

Speaking for the MHRA, Dr Phil Bryan stated that, “Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.  More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca have now been administrated across the UK.”  The reported blood clot cases were “not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.”

The medical wisdom on this remains consistent: certain adverse events will happen; comorbidities can play a distracting role.  To quote Dr Peter English, till recently Chair of the BMA Public Health Medicine Committee, the introduction of a new vaccine with “reports of adverse events such as this” was far from “unusual”.  On the contrary, it showed “that adverse reaction monitoring systems are working” rather than indicating a causal link between the reaction and the vaccination.

A meaningful strategy against pandemic suppression is not merely whether successful vaccines can be made, let alone successfully delivered, but whether the communications work.  Unfortunately for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the patchy reputations of pharmaceutical giants, and the specific way reports on the efficacy of the product have gotten traction, have damaged it.  The risks of being Handelsblatted are never far away.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com


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Hasbara Hunter

There are 7,600,000,000 GOYIM-Guinee Pigs on this Planet…that should be more then enough to test all Big Pharma & Dr. Mengele’s Experimental Drugs…


nothing has changed and if i were to take a vaccine it will only be barekat vaccine and certainly not this western poison


Vaccines are preventive measure, not treatment of illness. Hence 10yrs thoroughly trial cycle for all vaccines is required to ensure its safety.

The 8mths cycle emergency launch of US & UK vaccines for $100Bils p.a. market greed is pure reckless, esp adopting unproven new mRNA for Pfizer/Modena, & Astrazeneca adrenovirus modified DNA technologies.

If needs arise, traditional proven inactivated virus vaccines is the only safest acceptable choice, like Sinovac. It also contain complete virus elements to be most effective for all new mutating strains.

Pave Way IV

EMA gets burned by data leak showing that they approved Pfizer vaccine despite finding way too much mutated or incomplete mRNA in the commercial batches about to be delivered (clinical batches were fine).

– Guess what batches were used for all Pfizer’s ‘safe and effective’ studies underlying the EMA decision? Keep guessing – ALL manufacturer’s submitted data is confidential. EMA won’t even let you peek. Wait for data leak.

EMA and US say both mRNA vaccines are safe and effective. What neither will say is what kind of Franken-proteins or toxins might be reproduced in your cells from mutated or incomplete Franken-mRNA – a know impurity. Wait for data leak. Wait – there won’t be one. They never studied it.

EMA and US also can’t explain where the lipid capsule carriers holding the Franken-mRNA will end up in your body or if they even go to the right tissues before releasing their mystery payload. Secret and no data leaks because no studies.

EMA approves use of AstraZenica’s monkey cold infection vector vaccine, but won’t certify one of two EU labs – the Dutch one – to manufacture it. Why? Secret. Wait for chimp data leak.

EMA and US still won’t approve Sputnik or SinoVac… because they didn’t have enough commercial batch, post-vaccination data ten months ago. Whatever they submit now will be rejected by EMA and US. Neither Sputnik nor SinoVac are ‘novel’ mRNA or monkey-derived vaccines.

– Sometimes European countries disagree with their EMA drug overlords. Neither will tell the other what specific criteria or studies were used in decision-making so they disagree but nobody’s sure why (wait for data leak). Examples: Germany disagreeing with EMA on efficacy in 65+ group; multiple countries suspicious of observed blood clotting with AZ despite EMA claims (today) no connection. Sorry – wait for data leak.

– The EMA can’t make countries ‘obey’ its vaccine approvals. The EC Courts in Belgium, however, will enforce the EC vaccine Green Passport for travel between european member nations. And that passport will only be issued for vaccines the EMA has approved. See how freedom works? Now take the monkey juice. TAKE IT!


That’s not a “matter of communication”, that’s marketing, corporate battle for market share, and profits.

None of those so called “vaccines” should have been permitted “emergency use”, much less the mass usage, and the abject propaganda of those who should protect the population (“medicines agencies”) we “enjoy” today.
The “public-private partnership” (aka fascism) is not for consumer protection, it’s for financial profits, political power gain, and complete control. Those “doctors” seem to have taken a hypocrites’ oath, in their chase for more, and more money, the patients be damned.

Tommy Jensen

Group thinking.

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