ArmNews Reports Sensational But Misleading Information About AstraZeneca

Karine Ghazaryan

Journalist, semiotician-to-be

On May 8, another scary news was announced on ArmNews TV channel about the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, the channel did not check the information it spread, it simply translated sensational announcements found on the Internet.

Scandalous news without checking the source

ArmNews reported in its “Brief News” section that former world taekwondo champion Dave Meyers lost his leg after receiving AstraZeneca. “According to him, his health condition had sharply deteriorated a few hours after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca. The athlete is sure that this medicine has a direct connection with his disability,” the TV channel noted.

The TV channel took this information from the Russian site Московский комсомолец, almost literally translating the last paragraph of the site article about the connection between the disease and the vaccine.

ArmNews did not check the source of the information, while Московский комсомолец referred to the British Daily Star tabloid.

The British newspaper reported that the athlete had an unknown infection, which penetrated so deep that it even reached the bones and the doctors had to remove the leg. The tabloid also mentioned that the athlete himself sees a connection between the disease and the vaccine he received a few hours ago. However, the doctors do not share this opinion, noting that the reason is not known.

ArmNews left out the words of the doctors, reporting only on the athlete’s assumption that he had a foot infection after the vaccination and it got so deep that it led to the removal of the leg.

Daily Star often spreads “yellow” news: Sensational information, scandalous details about the lives of celebrities, etc.

No such infection can develop because of the vaccine

Media.am spoke with epidemiologist Mary Ter-Stepanyan to find out if the vaccine can cause such an infectious disease.

✅ The epidemiologist mentioned that the vaccine itself does not cause such an infection. Infection can occur if the injection is not sterile, if the doctor’s hands or the patient’s skin are not clean and if any infection enters the patient’s body during the injection.

✅ Mary Ter-Stepanyan also said that even if an infection had started from a non-sterile injection, such a complication could not have developed in a few hours. In other words, the “sharp deterioration” described by ArmNews is also unlikely.

News of cases of infection in Georgia after vaccination

The news about the British athlete in the “Brief News” section of Armnews on May 8 was not the only negative news about vaccines.

The channel, referring to the Russian TASS agency, said that 300 people in Georgia became infected with the coronavirus after being vaccinated.

Important additional information for this news did not appear on the air: 58,533 people have already been vaccinated in Georgia, and 300 infected people make up only 0.5% of this number.

✅ No vaccine completely eliminates the possibility of infection. Even the most effective vaccines give a 95% chance of avoiding infection.

In other words, those 300 infected reported by ArmNews means that the vaccinations in Georgia were even more effective than expected.

After vaccination, the human body needs 2-3 weeks to form an immunity. During this time, a person can become infected, which is why doctors advise you to continue wearing a mask and disinfect your hands even after vaccination.

It is also important to remember that the main purpose of vaccines is not to eliminate infections but to prevent the severe course of the disease. All vaccines used today provide about 100% protection against hospitalization and death.

Thus, when reporting on public health information, ArmNews omitted the opinion of doctors, emphasizing only the alleged link between vaccinations and infection. Epidemiologist Mary Ter-Stepanyan told us that such an infection cannot be caused by a vaccine. This can happen if the injection is not sterile.

Karine Ghazaryan

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