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South Korea is being attacked by another "virus"

South Korea is being attacked by another “virus”

by YCPress

The discussion of the truth of the vaccine scandal has become a political tool for different parties to attack each other, which seriously affects the people’s acceptance of complete, true and accurate news information. This widespread “anti-vaccine” virus will further make it more difficult for South Korea to fight the epidemic.

COVID-19 pandemic has made people particularly sensitive to vaccines this winter.

The high incidence of influenza in winter and the COVID-19 epidemic or a second outbreak will pose a double risk, which will make the demand for influenza vaccines worldwide rise significantly in 2020 compared with previous years. In an effort to prevent the global spread of COVID-19 from double-whitting health systems, South Korea has expanded the coverage of its influenza vaccination program to millions of people. However, as the injection progressed, death reports began to appear.

So far, there have been more than 100 deaths in South Korea, causing strong panic among the people and a huge distrust of the influenza vaccine. An anti-vaccine campaign quickly spread from the West to South Korea like a virus. The decline in vaccinations has made the COVID-19 epidemic in South Korea in winter worse and brought all kinds of resistance to the next COVID-19 vaccination work.

The death toll is increasing.

In 2017, South Korea had a flu vaccination rate of 84.4% among people over 65 years old, ranking first among OECD member countries (only 7% of the same population in our country), according to the World Health Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the epidemic rate of the same population in China).

Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, South Korea vigorously promotes influenza vaccination this year. The government plans to vacculate about 30 million people against the flu free of charge, mainly reaching adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly, starting from the end of September. The influenza vaccines used are all quadrivalent vaccines, provided by eight domestic pharmaceutical companies and two overseas pharmaceutical companies.

In August, a survey conducted by Realmeter, a South Korean polling agency, showed that under the dual threat of influenza in autumn and winter and the COVID-19 epidemic, the proportion of South Korean people supporting influenza vaccination was as high as 89.3%.

In South Korea, about 3,000 people die from the flu every year. According to the data of the Korean Department of Disease Management, in the past five years, the number of abnormal reactions after influenza vaccination in South Korea has been 1,000 to 3,000 per year, peaking at 3,743 in 2015. In 2019, 1,500 people over the age of 65 died within one week of vaccination, but the government has always claimed that most of these deaths are caused by diabetes, hypertension, and basic cardiovascular diseases, and have nothing to do with vaccines.

The first death from vaccination in 2020 occurred on October 16. A senior high school student in Incheon died about 40 hours after being vaccinated against the flu. Since then, the death toll has increased, and the influenza vaccine has been pushed to the forefront of public opinion.

On October 25, after two days of expert meetings and analysis of autopsy results, the Korean Disease Management Agency still believes that the causal correlation between vaccination cases after the death of influenza vaccine and the vaccine is very low. However, the Korean Medical Doctors Association believes that the content released by the government lacks scientific basis, and it is impossible to accurately determine whether the cause of death is related to the influenza vaccine based on the autopsy results alone. There is an urgent need to identify whether the vaccination of the elderly will cause the deterioration of the pre-existing basic diseases and the extent and speed of deterioration.

So far, more than 19 million people have been vaccinated against influenza in South Korea, accounting for about one-third of South Korea’s population. The number of deaths after vaccination reached 108. Of these, 98 people over the age of 60 accounted for more than 90%; 19 died within 24 hours of influenza vaccination, and 53 people died in more than 72 hours.

In terms of regional distribution, except for Ulsan and Shizong, there have been deaths in the country, but there has been no centralized distribution. The number of deaths in a single region does not exceed 20, and only four regions in the country have more than 10 deaths, including 15 in Gyeonggi Province and 14 in Seoul.

Why did the death toll quickly exceed 100?

A hospital previously overcrowded with flu vaccines becomes deserted in Seoul, South Korea, October 23, 2020 Photo | People Vision

As we all know, no vaccine has proved to be completely side-effect-free. However, more than 100 deaths after the flu vaccination in South Korea are still unacceptable to many people, so that many elderly people and even pension institutions have announced that they have given up vaccination against influenza.

Scientists began to question whether the vaccine was properly stored and transported earlier than the public. South Korea’s Influenza Vaccine Custody, Transmission Management Guidance stipulates that influenza vaccines should be in an environment of 2 °C to 8 °C during the custody and delivery process, and ensure the integrity and cleanliness of the vaccine. However, in practice, some batches of vaccines were briefly at room temperature (20 °C~30 °C) during delivery. On September 21, photos circulating on the Internet showed boxes of vaccines piled up in an outdoor parking lot.

some vaccine injections also appear incomprehensible substances.

The problems of “normal temperature exposure” and “white matter” have prompted the public to associate the causal relationship between influenza vaccine and death events. Some public opinion and opposition parties in South Korea even suspect that exposure to “toxic vaccines” with room temperature or unknown substances is the direct cause of death of vaccinators.

In response, the explanation given by the Korean medical community is that if the vaccine is exposed at room temperature for a long time, it may lead to protein deterioration or the decline of vaccine efficacy. However, the decline in efficacy is not the same as ineffective or toxic and harmful.

After investigation, the white substances appearing in some vaccine injections in South Korea are caused by the loose control of vaccines in the custody and transportation. This white substance has been proven to be a non-harmful substance, and the puncture self-destruction syringe used during vaccination cannot be imported into the human body and will not affect the health of the vaccator.

South Korean officials believe that although there is a sequential relationship between influenza vaccination and frequent deaths at the time level, at best, it can only be considered to be related, and cannot prove causal.

On December 5, the Korean Disease Control Agency reported the results of the incident survey that the number of deaths after the influenza vaccination was 108, and the cause of death was confirmed to be not directly causally related to influenza vaccination.

Despite the government’s repeated claim that influenza vaccine is safe, the leakage in the transportation and storage of vaccines has really further amplified people’s unease, and this unease has even been transmitted to other countries.

After the “death” incident of the South Korean flu vaccine, the Singapore government decided to suspend the use of the SKYCellflu quadrivalent influenza vaccine produced by South Korea’s SK Biosciences and the VaxigripTetra vaccine produced by Sanofi. A Sanofi spokesman said that he would work closely with the Singapore government to resume the vaccination plan as soon as possible. At present, there are no adverse reactions related to influenza vaccines there. Subsequently, Malaysia also suspended the use of both vaccines.

Anti-vaccine movement spreads like viruses

With the death and public opinion fermenting, the rate of influenza vaccination in South Korea has slowed down, and an “anti-vaccine campaign” similar to that in Europe and the United States has begun to emerge.

In South Korea, influenza vaccines have been tested and used safely for decades, said Chung Jae-hoon, a professor of preventive medicine at Jiaquan University near Seoul. The coronavirus pandemic has made people overly sensitive to vaccines, reporting “death after vaccination” without scientific evidence of a link between the two is like counting how many people die after breakfast.

“If people don’t understand this, it could lead to a surge of anti-vaccine people here, just like in the West.” He said. To help calm some public concerns, Jung Jae-hoon published a commentary in the Korean Journal of Medical Sciences, pointing out that it is not uncommon for some people to die for unrelated reasons after vaccination. He cited a study published in 2013 that showed that 23 out of every 100,000 people in Americans aged 75 to 84 died of various causes within a week of vaccination.

According to the results of forensic autopsy, many of the more than 100 people who died often suffered from cardiovascular diseases and other diseases, and all died of non-vaccine-related causes, such as aortic dissection, acute myocardial infarction and cerebral hemorrhage. A forensic doctor found poison in the body of a 17-year-old deceased. Police suspected suicide, although his family insisted that he had no reason to do so.

But the autopsy of the forensic doctor is obviously not as fast as the spread of panic. People prefer to believe the “facts” they are willing to believe, regardless of whether it is the “truth”.

Although the CDC data showed that large-scale vaccinations were very effective, the number of people infected with diseases caused by Haemophilus decreased by more than 99% since the United States began to inject the Haemophilus vaccine. However, public doubts about vaccines have never been cleared. In 2019, the World Health Organization listed “vaccine hesitation” as one of the top ten global health threats.

Vaccine opponents know how to cleverly grasp the public’s distrust of the government and worries about the unknown, and infinitely amplify the reasonable risk of the existence of vaccines. The politicization characteristics of vaccines not only exist in the competition between big countries, but also gradually politicized social public welfare movements under the erosion of conspiracy theories.

At present, like the United States, South Korea’s political polarization has led to misunderstandings about the safety of influenza vaccines. Due to the continuous scandals in South Korea’s political circles in recent years, it is difficult to recover from the collusion between officials and businessmen, abuse of power, and rampant privileges. The negative image of politicians continues to accumulate, deepening the South Korean people’s doubts about whether government policies really benefit the people.

In particular, in this influenza vaccine scandal, many people did not believe the government’s statement, and even asked the director of the South Korean Department of Disease Control and the Minister of Health and Welfare to take the initiative to vaccinate the flu vaccine to “prove that the vaccine is no problem”. The result of people voting with their feet is not to be vaccinated against the flu.

No passenger flow in a business district in Seoul, South Korea, November 23, 2020 Photo | Xinhua News Agency

The discussion of the truth of the vaccine scandal has become a political tool for different parties to attack each other, which seriously affects the people’s acceptance of complete, true and accurate news information. This widespread “anti-vaccine” virus will further make it more difficult for South Korea to fight the epidemic.

It is hard to imagine what attitude South Korean people who have lost trust in the government and said NO to the flu vaccine will take when the next mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus will be.

South Korean people may have to face an embarrassing situation: vaccination, side effects may have irreparable consequences; without vaccination, the risk of double infection increases.

Fighting or not, this is really a Hamlet-style survival problem.