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Why do Westerners distrust their own vaccine companies

Published December 22 by Victoria Nikiflova. “Vaccine Wars: Why Westerners Don’t Trust Their Own Companies.” Edited excerpted below:

Mass vaccination campaigns against the COVID-19 vaccine have just begun, but this has caused consternation among the richest countries in the West, with large numbers of people refusing to be vaccinated.

All of this is reminiscent of scenes from the 18th century. At the time, an English doctor had first vaccinated himself and his children against smallpox before they were chased out of their homes by neighbors and nearly killed. Local people are convinced that vaccination causes everyone to grow horns and tails.

Now these old fears have been reborn in a new form. Moreover, it is not the inhabitants of the poorest regions who are most frightened, but the inhabitants of the richest and most enlightened countries in the world.

Eighty-six percent of parents believe there are “serious side effects” from COVID-19, with nearly half flatly refusing to give their children the vaccine, the survey showed. When French journalists asked passers-by if they intended to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the majority said no. Why is that? They distrust neither foreign manufacturers nor their own health ministries and news media. In Germany, opponents of vaccination held a protest rally. So do people in New York and Los Angeles.

What was the cause of this hysterical reaction? Are people in general depressed, out of their comfort zone and full of doubt about the future? Of course. The most important factor, however, is the over-commercialization of medicine.

In Russia and China, vaccines are developed in state institutions and laboratories with a long tradition. Epidemiological and virological research in both countries is the exclusive responsibility of the Government.

Both the Soviet Union (Russia) and China proved themselves capable of dealing with pandemics of the most dangerous diseases for decades: they overcame plague, cholera and polio in the process. During this period, the two governments have built up a good reputation in the fight against pandemics.

Western vaccines are developed by private companies. The big multinational drug companies have murky ownership and occasional scandals.

Pfizer, for example, was accused in the mid-1990s of illegally testing new antibiotics on Nigerian children. Several children died as a result.

Nigeria’s government has filed a lengthy $6.9 billion lawsuit against Pfizer. During the trial, reports surfaced that Pfizer executives might have paid bribes to the attorney general, and the victims’ medical records and other documents continued to disappear — all but destroying Pfizer’s reputation.

In 2015 and 2016, Americans filed hundreds of lawsuits against Pfizer, alleging that its antidepressants caused birth defects. Pfizer denies this, but the consequences are said to remain.

In 2019, Pfizer was accused of making a drug that had not been fully tested and was now found to have a carcinogenic effect, that is, it stimulates the growth of malignant tumors.

In each case, experienced lawyers hired by Pfizer would probably say, “You’re all lying.” But on the whole, the endless scandals do not inspire optimism.

Another vaccine maker, Modena, has no similar dark history. But it also has little history. The private biotechnology company was founded in the United States in 2011. In its early days, someone invested $2 billion. Who exactly does The Company belong to? It’s not clear yet.

Typically, such start-ups keep track of all their research and churn out papers in professional journals. This has helped them find state institutions and private investors. But Modena has published almost nothing since it was founded.

The American press called it “the most secretive company in biotechnology”. Journalists, celebrities and ordinary citizens are not allowed to enter Modena, which is as secure as a military base.

None of this seems credible. Moreover, in its nine years of operation, Modena has never shown the public a vaccine or a drug — nothing. What are these guys doing in the lab? Maybe they’re saving the world. Maybe they’re doing something else. Now, people in the rich west will have to be subjects in the company’s first product, the COVID-19 vaccine.As far back as 2014, the New York Times pointed out that state investment in biotechnology was almost zero, with private investors rushing in to fill the gap. They provide funding for promising start-ups, while scientists conduct research on behalf of funders on an “all for your money” basis.

“American science is being taken private by billionaires with big ideas,” said the New York Times.

The problem is that the contents of these ideas are still unknown to the public. Why do billionaires choose biotechnology? What do they want from biotechnology? This is actually the riddle of the century.

In this context, when the authorities in California or France try to pass a law requiring universal compulsory vaccinations, it is inevitable that panic and protest rallies will begin.

The Sackler family is a perfect example of how drug companies go to court. In the 1990s, the Sackler family bribed doctors and federal officials to make millions of Americans addicted to a drug they made. The drug contains opioids. The result was the infamous “opioid pandemic” in the United States, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.

People are trying to punish the perpetrators. But they have ostensibly resigned from the management of pharmaceutical companies and are no longer held accountable.

Although the company later went bankrupt, the Sackler heirs managed to withdraw $10 billion from the company’s accounts in recent years.Russia, too, was once inclined to commercialise drugs. Now it is time to realise that this idea leads to terrible social divisions.


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