Covid-19 Vaccine: Anti-vaxxers seek to Discredit Pfizer's Vaccine

Vaccines are one of the most amazing discoveries
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Anti-vaxxers took advantage of the positive outcomes of a new coronavirus vaccine, seeking to undermine the creation of Pfizer / BioNTech on social media within hours of it being revealed.

Bill Gates started trending on Twitter since the news emerged that interim analysis indicated the vaccine had 90 per cent efficacy. The Microsoft founder has become one of the most common targets for conspiracy theories because of his work on vaccinations.

Although some poked fun at the hypotheses of conspiracy, others subscribed to the views expressed in the viral Plandemic video by the disgraced US researcher Dr Judy Mikovits, in which she blames the coronavirus epidemic on a conspiracy led by Gates and the World Health Organization.

A caller to BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show on Tuesday reiterated the conspiracy, saying "Bill Gates is behind this" and accusing him of pursuing material benefit.

Louise Creffield from Save Our Rights UK, who has lobbied against lockdown, replied live on Facebook just over an hour after Boris Johnson finished a press conference in which he tried to balance expectations following the interim results for the vaccine, which must receive regulatory approval before it is rolled out.

In the video, she said:

“There’s been no safety data yet, it hasn’t been peer-reviewed, there is a lot of indemnity to it and the MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency], who are going to be the ones that approve it or not, we have found out, well, one, they’re a government body so they are paid for by the government, and two they’ve received nearly £1m in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So the likelihood that they are a robustly independent body like Boris Johnson said is slim to none.”

In saying that there was no safety evidence for the vaccine, Johnson was clear because it was not peer-reviewed.

Creffield also expressed scepticism about the pace of production of the vaccine. A reference to Johnson being flanked by Brigadier Joe Fossey at the press conference, who was there to speak about military support for mass research in Liverpool, she suggested the presence of the army is coercive.

Heidi Larson, director of the London-based Vaccine Confidence Project, said:

“There’s a lot of languages out there about speed but we haven’t really talked about why things are faster and it’s not because we’re shortcutting old processes.

“These new Covid vaccines are on brand new platforms. There’s never been an mRNA vaccine [which uses the genetic code rather than any part of the virus itself] before for humans. So, this Pfizer vaccine, for instance, would be absolutely brand new, made in a new way.”

While social media sites have removed some of the more extreme material, such as the Pandemic video, Larson said it was hard for them to control or prevent transferring content that was vaguer or shared by organizations with innocuous-sounding names to another site.

“I think the biggest problem with all these misinformation efforts is that we’re not there with alternatives and we’re not listening,” she said.

“Anti/sceptical vaccine individuals and groups are actively seeking out people who are questioning and hesitant, and they are right there, waiting to say: ‘You’re right, you have a good reason to be concerned, there is a problem.’ We’re just saying ‘Don’t worry’ and not really saying: ‘Tell me about your concern.’”

A study published on Tuesday by the British Academy and the Royal Society for the Set-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking: Covid-19) party, Prof Melinda Mills, from the University of Oxford and lead author of the Covid-19 vaccine deployment, echoed Larson's views.

“Vaccines are one of the most amazing discoveries … they’ve saved millions of lives and we often forget that because we’re not surrounded by measles and polio and smallpox. But I do think so much focus on the medical science and so much focus on the vaccines has left us with a real blind spot into how people see them.”

Creffield said the Pfizer vaccine being based on new technology increased the need for scrutiny.
“I’m not about feeding conspiracy theories – I’m just about making sure that we have the full facts of the matter, including about where these things are coming from,” she told the Guardian.

“If there’s questions on any of those answers … that doesn’t mean necessarily it’s untrustworthy and that you shouldn’t take part in whatever it is. It just means you need to satisfy that … nothing untoward is going on.”

Source: The Guardian