In modern states in the Western democratic bloc, from the US to Taiwan, from Australia to Israel, there seems to be no pushback whatsoever against the idea that fast-paced mass vaccination programs, through Pfizer BioNtech alone, are not only the most efficient and the clearest way to end the global pandemic, but that concerns about the vaccines are misplaced and ill-intentioned, and hesitancy represents people placing self-interest over the public good, threatening the health of others.
Pfizer’s vaccine is nearly two years old is based off of the Alpha strain of coronavirus that is nearly extinct in the wild, the company is lobbying government officials to, rather than diversify immunity, to triple and now quadruple down on that single Pfizer BioNtech vaccine, with Israel now stockpiling fourth doses, and Pfizer BioNtech pushing for its vaccine, which lacks tests for long-term safety as it has only been available to the public for less than one year, be given to children as young as seven, simply to increase their market and profit margins of this privately traded corporation who ironically developed their vaccine with public funds.
Despite that in data from Israel, one of the earliest and most steady adopters, Pfizer’s efficacy in preventing mass infection, including amongst the vaccinated, was shamefully poor, with the country now, post-vaccination, actually facing its largest wave ever.
Despite the fact that BioNtech breached a preliminary contract with Taiwan to vaccinate its population, after a controlling share was purchased by totalitarian China in order to deliberately prevent vaccine rollout in Taiwan, the Taiwanese government still purchased millions of BioNtech vaccines for its population, and then gave nearly all of the questionably sourced vaccines to its most vulnerable population, children.
The vaccines are clearly effective at preventing severe coronavirus infection, especially in those who have received two doses.
Still, pretending that they are without risk, or giving the impression that the media minimizes those risks, is frankly dangerous because it reduces trust in the objectivity of the press, and flies in the face of existing scientific data. The same is true for an unwillingness to acknowledge that new vaccine technologies, including directly injecting laboratory modified genetic material (as in mRNA vaccines), or genetically modified chimpanzee adenoviruses as a vector to then inject laboratory modified genetic material (as in the AZ vaccine), both lack long term safety testing.
This should therefore should raise concerns when mRNA vaccines are being pushed over protein vaccines, like Novavax, to fulfill modern industry’s dream of a 100% market penetration rate, vaccinating the entire human population. The prospect of the entire human species being injected with a nearly identical engineered foreign genetic material after a grand total of 11 months of largescale human testing is more reminiscent of the introduction to dystopian post-apocalyptic science fiction than a public health goal.
Lastly, the claim that despite young people’s personal risk, in particular from experimental vaccine types such as those produced by Astrazeneca, J&J, Moderna, and Pfizer (but not by Novavax or Medigen who use classical protein vaccines which themselves have distinct but familiar risks), that their concern for their own health should be outweighed by their interest in protecting others and public health, when the global public have themselves shown that they care little for the health of others by refusing to wear masks, is appallingly callous.
The United States, with now between 77 percent of the eligible population (now >12) having received at least one dose, is facing the same dilemma as countries like Israel, but instead of observing the data and recognizing that indeed it is a crisis of the unvaccinated, they assume that this only means at home, and ignore the fact that most of the human population still has no access to vaccines, including those in packed urban centers in the global south where infection is rampant, and therefore the opportunity for new, mutant strains to emerge is ripe.
Instead of aiming to quickly vaccinate the global population, and diversifying their immunity at home through the development of new vaccines targeted to new strains, the state and media are only obsessed with buying the vaccines of a single well-connected corporation for both and focusing on only marginally increasing their own domestic vaccination rates. On the face of it, that this many governments are apparently working in collusion with Pfizer and against the scientific data regarding the public health of their citizens suggests that perhaps the corporation’s lobbying efforts have left global leaders in their pockets.
For those neutrally observing the international media space, such behavior and speech from the supposedly fourth estate, the media, should also raise serious concerns about whether major media outlets either have financial interests in the pharmaceutical industry, or have themselves been lobbied to by bought public officials. Rather than objectively questioning the acts of states, financial collusion with Pfizer might explain their obsession with increasing the vaccination rates in developed countries by the 1-2% that they might still budge in already saturated markets the US, where the vaccines can be sold in full price, rather than abroad where they must be sold at discount.
The obsession with an American style quick-fix, a magic bullet, is myopic.
If countries would instead produce more tests and adequately use them, produce more masks and adequately distribute them, and strictly enforce quarantine measures, perhaps the pandemic could be brought under control.
These tough measures are how Taiwan, despite a massive outbreak is now down to zero domestic spread for the better part of three weeks now.
It is now virtually without question that vaccines are not, and never will be, a panacea that itself could even modestly reduce large-scale infection. This has been demonstrated by the massive waves in both the US and Israel. Despite having the vast majority of their adult, and now child, populations vaccinated, cases are still out of control in both, with the US back up to over 100,000 cases per day, and Israel facing its largest spike since the beginning.
To suggest that another five percent increase in the domestic vaccinations in developed countries could tip the scale towards stability is sheer fallacy contradicted by the science, and is an unrealistic pipe dream, when the vast majority of Americans, vaccinated or not, regardless of the persistent risks, refuse to even wear masks.
The media space should drop is obsession with vaccinating the holdouts in the West, and would do much better to focus on abysmal adherence to basic hygiene protocols such as hand-washing, mask wearing, and the fact that quarantine rules in the US go completely unenforced, while in places like Israel can simply be bought out by the rich willing to pay the tickets. If either the media or the state truly believe in the power of vaccines, they should push for those vaccines, whose development by the way was mostly funded by taxpayers in the US and Germany, should be available license-free for production abroad, and should be distributed for free to developing states that need them, instead of turning Pfizer into the Haliburton of the newest war on COVID.
Staff writer: Ari B