Disinfo: AstraZeneca vaccines were returned to the manufacturer because they were expired or fabricated

Summary

AstraZeneca vaccines were returned to the manufacturer in whole batches, which turned out to be either expired or fabricated.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign aiming to discredit Western vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The claim that AstraZeneca vaccines were returned to the manufacturer because they were expired or fabricated is false.

This claim comes amid several countries temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca vaccines following some reports of blood clotting and low platelet count which could be suspected as side effects. Following the reports the European Medicines Agency and national health authorities are reviewing the reports to better understand the individual cases.

Of the countries that purchased the AstraZeneca vaccine, none returned the vaccine to its manufacturer. On February 16, 2021, it was reported in the media that South Africa would return one million doses of the vaccine to the Serum Institute (one of the largest manufacturers of AstraZeneca vaccine), although this was not due to problems with its quality.

According to the South African Ministry of Health, small clinical observations prior to the start of the vaccination programme showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine had minimal efficacy against the South African strain of the virus. Because this particular strain is the most common in South Africa, the country has suspended its AstraZeneca vaccination programme for healthcare workers.

However, on February 17, 2021, the Economic Times, the first source of information, updated the article after further communication with the South African government, stating that despite the suspension of the vaccination programme, the government had no plans to return AstraZeneca to the manufacturer. Instead, the South African government has offered a million doses purchased from the Serum Institute to the African Union to distribute the vaccine to African countries concerned.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination
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AstraZeneca kills

AstraZeneca kills: a European country refused it.

Disproof

Disinformation that advances pro-Kremlin propaganda against the COVID-19 vaccines produced in the USA and Europe. The claim appeared in the title wrongly creating an impression that AstraZeneca Vaccine is designed to cause deaths.

It is true that in Austria a 49-year old woman died as a result of multiple thromboses and a 35-year-old was also hospitalised for a pulmonary embolism after receiving a vaccine from the same batch. However, the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care of Austria said that there is no evidence of a causal relationship with vaccination.

Instead of vaccine Zelensky might have been jabbed with vitamins

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has publicly got vaccinated with the Indian vaccine, but some have claimed that he was injected with vitamins. The vaccination in public has turned into a show. Zelensky got vaccinated in Donbass, and immediately after the injection, shelling from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the war zone has sharply increased.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denigrating Ukraine and its president Volodymyr Zelensky.

There is no evidence to claim that the Ukrainian president received a dose of vitamins instead of vaccine. President Zelenskyy tweeted on 2 March 2021 that he was inoculated with Indian vaccine Covishield. A batch of 500,000 doses arrived in Ukraine on February 23 2021.

Teenagers in Estonia are infected by Russophobic alarmism

More and more teenagers in Estonia are ready to defend their country. This is showing that Russophobia in Estonia is widespread. Official Tallinn permanently scares citizens by “threat from East”.

The myth about “threat from East” is the idee fix of the Estonian government. The biggest part of society is infected by Russophobic alarmism.

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Estonia is Russophobic.

The starting point of the disinformation narrative was data from the Public Opinion and National Defence Survey, which was published by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Estonia. The Survey showed that readiness among young people of upper secondary school age to participate in defence activities has increased to 63 per cent, while a year ago it was only 54 per cent.