World News

China accuses UK of ‘downplaying’ deaths linked to the Pfizer vaccine

China has accused Britain of downplaying vaccine deaths as part of a propaganda attempt to smear their jabs.

State media outlets in China have published a series of articles claiming China-made vaccines are much safer and more accessible than those rolled out in the West.

The reports have come as Western press have criticised China for delivering its vaccines to countries including Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey, without sufficient data disclosure.

The Global Times, a tabloid published by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, has published more than ten reports in the past week critical of vaccines and inoculation schemes in the West.

About half of them have referred to highly frail patients in Norway who reportedly died after being inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, Reuters reports.

In a January 15 editorial, the Global Times accused mainstream U.S. and British news outlets of "deliberately downplaying the deaths" and "using propaganda power to promote the Pfizer vaccine and smearing Chinese vaccines."

It continued: "Those major Western media will immediately hype any unfavourable information about Chinese vaccines and try to amplify their impact on public psychology."

Norwegian authorities have not established a causal link between the deaths and vaccination and said on January 18 they were not changing their policy on using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A Global Times report on Tuesday cited Chinese experts saying Australia should consider halting regulatory procedures for Pfizer's vaccine until the investigation of the deaths is over.

  • Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today

It also said Australia should purchase Chinese-developed vaccines "which are relatively safer due to their mature technology".

The Global Times has also argued that Chinese vaccines are cheaper and easier to transport, and portrayed Pfizer as an unreliable supplier, sacrificing need in other countries to prioritise supply for the United States.

A Pfizer representative said in an email: "Reports of adverse events outside of clinical studies are a very important component to our pharmacovigilance activities."

The U.S. drugmaker said last week it was temporarily slowing supplies of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost output.

Final stage clinical trials showed the vaccine was 95% effective, with no major safety concerns.

Source: Read Full Article