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💉 The fervor surrounding the Astra vaccine once again shows how the media drives fear - and it costs lives

💉 The fervor surrounding the Astra vaccine once again shows how the media drives fear - and it costs lives

The media's obsession over the AstraZeneca vaccine can be dismissed as part of the media logic and the truism "if it bleeds it leads". But in this case, and in many others, it costs lives. It can not simply be shrugged off.

Magnus Aschan
Magnus Aschan

"When ALL journalists at the press conference ask questions about a hypothetical effect that is actually still a fart in space, I thought I would bring up what we should focus on.

The cases are increasing again!

This small increase has killed more than this hypothetical effect will ever do."

This is what physiotherapist Jacob Gudiol writes on Twitter (in Swedish). And he's right.

The astronomically small risk, if it is at all linked to the vaccine, of getting a blood clot is completely overshadowed by the risk that now many more people die in the suites of covid-19, because they are not vaccinated.

Of course, this does not mean that the few cases that have been discovered should be investigated thoroughly. This means that we must compare the risks in a fact-based way, not driven by emotions and fears.

The media does not help here. On the contrary, they drive people's fears in the pursuit of sensation and click. They show with all clarity where their focus is and today's Swedish press conference is like a microcosm of the media.

This can perhaps easily be dismissed as part of the media logic and the truism "if it bleeds it leads". But in this case, and in many others, it costs lives. It can not be shrugged off.

More media outlets must take their responsibility, stop their sensationalism and take a larger perspective on an issue like this. The reporting that is now taking place is guaranteed to lead to fewer people getting vaccinated. This means we all lose.

The fact is that there are no more people who have suffered from blood clots after vaccination than would have appeared in a control group. There is so far "no indication" that the vaccine caused this, writes the European Medicines Agency .

As of March 10, 30 cases of so-called thromboembolism have been reported out of nearly five million vaccinated with AstraZeneca's vaccine in the European Economic Area.

Time to pause sensationalism now media colleagues. It costs lives.

Image in montage from Wikimedia Commons .