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AstraZeneca's Vaccine of Death

'You have the right to demand that the number of fatalities is zero.'

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SÖDERTÄLJE/MÖLNDAL SWEDEN (Rixstep) — 'You have the right to demand that the number of fatalities is zero.'

From 'Nobody Likes AstraZeneca' ('Ingen gillar Astra Zeneca') by Egor Putilov of Sweden's Samnytt 26 April 2021 (rush translation).

Several readers have reacted to the fact that we call AstraZeneca's vaccine the 'Vaccine of Death' in our headlines. I'd like to dispel any doubt here: this is a deliberate editorial choice. It may seem extreme, but the fact is that AstraZeneca's vaccine kills people - people that the vaccine is supposed to save. Today we see news about a woman in her 70s who died after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both Denmark and Norway - countries that have shown a considerably more rational and mature response to the pandemic - refuse to use the AstraZeneca vaccine. Norway even sent its remaining AstraZeneca doses to Sweden. The Norwegian Infection Control Agency determined that the risk of dying from the AstraZeneca vaccine is actually higher than the risk of dying from corona while waiting for a decent and safe vaccine. The vaccination of healthcare professionals in Swedish regions with the AstraZeneca vaccine had to be stopped several times due to the severe side-effects. And not to forget that, despite major risks, AstraZeneca's vaccine provides a protective effect of only 60%, according to the European Medicines Agency.

And no, that's not a euphemism. When in practice the population is forced to take a vaccine - with the threat of retaliation - you have the right to demand that the number of fatalities is zero. One can of course theorise about it and frighten people by citing statistics of future fatalities, but when it comes down to it: who wants to be the ten thousandth person who draws the unlucky straw in this vaccine lottery and perishes in pain when your immune system attacks your own body?

Therefore I have a hard time condemning residents of Trollhättan who fled the vaccination centre when they found out that it was AstraZeneca they were to be offered.

AstraZeneca has been on quite a journey the past year. Just half a year ago they said that AstraZeneca would 'save humanity' and had already started production so that billions of doses would be ready to ship to all corners of the globe as soon as authorities gave the nod.

But the company's PR department seems to have done them a disservice. It proved much more difficult to create a vaccine that doesn't kill people and in sufficient quantity than to boast about their own excellence.

And they like to boast at AstraZeneca. In March 2020, when the pandemic raged at its worst in Sweden and healthcare professionals fought on with no PPE, AstraZeneca chose to send 9 million face masks to other countries. First out was Italy. Although Italy was hard hit by the corona virus - it was in February and help from around the world had already arrived.

The acute crisis just then rolled out in Sweden - on AstraZeneca's home turf where the company has two facilities with 7,400 employees.

When I rang AstraZeneca's press manager Christina Malmberg Hägerstrand and asked why they didn't provide PPE to Swedish hospitals, I got an arrogant reply.

'We're a global company and there's a great global need in many places.'

And when I asked the given and logical question of - despite being a global company - AstraZeneca's intention to apply for benefits from Swedish taxpayers, I got the following.

'I think we've said enough now.'

Christina Malmberg then slammed down her phone.

It's obvious that they're not helping Italy. AstraZeneca was looking for the same thing when they tried to posture themselves as the salvation of humanity - namely to earn cheap brownie points. It seems to be the only area where they still perform well. Even when the borders are closed and it's physically impossible to get supplies with PPE, it's important for AstraZeneca to stand out as a 'global' company that ignores the suffering at home, at the same time thousands of Swedes succumb to the virus.

The infamous Mikael Tofvesson of Sweden's Civil Defence Agency recently made a desperate attempt to save AstraZeneca's sullied image by starting a conspiracy theory that it's Russia attacking them. Putin wants to sell his own vaccine Sputnik and is therefore behind the massive criticism of the competitor, he claimed.

But the truth may be different - it may be that AstraZeneca is simply a rogue company that no one likes and that deserves all the shit they get.

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John Cattelin
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