As Russia announces coronavirus vaccine, mainstream media suddenly discovers the meaning of skepticism

RT – By Graham Dockery – 11 Aug, 2020

As Russia rolls out its new coronavirus inoculation ahead of complete clinical tests, the western media has suddenly come full circle on vaccines. Russia, it seems, could cure cancer and the media would find a way to blame Putin.

Russia has registered the world’s first vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus. Russian President Vladmir Putin announced the breakthrough on Tuesday, telling reporters that his own daughter has taken the jab. Doctors and teachers will be the first to receive the shot, with a general rollout expected in January 2021.

The vaccine is still undergoing testing, though Russian scientists say they’ve had decades of experience fighting similar viruses. It’s passed the first two trial phases – on monkeys and humans, yet the third and final placebo test is still pending, and will be conducted alongside the voluntary rollout of the vaccine.

Armed with that fact, the Western media set about ringing the alarm. The New York Times accused the Kremlin of “cutting corners on testing to score propaganda points,” and warned of the dangers of new and partially tested drugs. The Guardian too warned of this rushed effort, but added that “vaccines may only be partially effective,” even after rigorous testing. Likewise the Washington Post cautioned that “shots could be harmful or give people a false sense of security about their immunity.”

Across multiple outlets, the messaging was the same. The Russian vaccine is not to be trusted, is little more than propaganda fodder, and could even be a nefarious Kremlin plot to goad the West into pushing out its own, untested, vaccine ahead of schedule.

It’s undoubtedly true that the race to a vaccine is a matter of national pride for Russia. Even the drug’s name – Sputnik V – references the first satellite launched into space, a massive space-race propaganda coup for the Soviet Union. Likewise the papers have a point when they raise concerns about the efficacy of vaccines. As the Guardian pointed out, even the most thoroughly tested shots may be at best ineffective or at worst come with horrible side-effects.

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Posted by Teri Perticone


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