New Delhi, Jan 16 : China has slammed the US media for its silence over the deaths of 23 Norwegian elderly patients who were vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Twenty-three elderly Norwegian people died after receiving Pfizer vaccines and the country has launched a detailed investigation into the fatalities that have shocked the world.
Thirteen of them have been assessed and common side effects may have contributed to severe reactions in them, according to the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
An editorial in China’s state-run media outlet Global Times said that 23 deaths are a large number.
“But surprisingly, mainstream English-language media did not report the incident immediately, as if they had already reached a consensus. Major US and UK media were obviously downplaying their deaths,” the editorial said on Friday.
“In contrast, those major Western media will immediately hype any unfavourable information about Chinese vaccines and try to amplify their impact on public psychology”.
For example, the data of China’s Sinovac vaccine was lower than expected in Brazil, and it was reported everywhere in Western media.
The death of a Brazilian volunteer who participated in the trials also became a major event in Western media.
“But it was later proven that the death had nothing to do with the vaccination, and Western media lost their interest,” Global Times reported.
Doctors in Norway have been asked to conduct more thorough evaluations of very frail elderly patients in line to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, following the reported deaths, the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported.
“It may be a coincidence, but we aren’t sure,” Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the BMJ.
“There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”
In a statement, Pfizer said: “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.
“All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.”
According to Global Times, which first broke the story, some mainstream US and British media are taking the lead in putting geopolitical labels on vaccines.
“They are meddling in political stances with the scientific attitude toward vaccines, using their propaganda to promote Pfizer vaccines and smearing Chinese vaccines”.
“If there needs to be some comparison, then China’s inactivated vaccine definitely has more solid foundation in safety than Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine”.
The inactivated vaccine technology has been very mature and has undergone decades of clinical testing.
“But it is the first time that the mRNA technology was applied to the vaccine. This large-scale promotion of Pfizer’s vaccine is a continuous process of large-scale testing on human beings,” the editorial read.
The Pfizer vaccine has been strongly promoted by the US administration and capital.
“Their potential risk has been deliberately downplayed by Western public opinion. And public opinion has created an impression that Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, which is being used for the first time, is safer than the Chinese vaccine”.