Coronavirus Vaccine Problems News StoriesExcerpts of Key Coronavirus Vaccine Problems News Stories in Major Media
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The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren't profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from The People's Vaccine Alliance said today. New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production. Colombia, for example, has potentially overpaid by as much as $375 million for its doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, in comparison to the estimated cost price. Despite a rapid rise in COVID cases and deaths across the developing world, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have sold over 90 percent of their vaccines so far to rich countries, charging up to 24 times the potential cost of production. Neither company have agreed to fully transfer vaccine technology and know-how with any capable producers in developing countries, a move that could increase global supply, drive down prices and save millions of lives. Analysis of production techniques for the leading mRNA type vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna â€•which were only developed thanks to public funding to the tune of $8.3 billionâ€• suggest these vaccines could be made for as little as $1.20 a dose. Yet COVAX, the scheme set up to help countries get access to COVID vaccines, has been paying, on average, nearly five times more.
Strong sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and other medicines helped Pfizer nearly double its second-quarter revenue and boost its profit an impressive 59%, beating Wall Street expectations and leading the drug giant to sharply hike its 2021 sales and profit forecasts. Amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccine became Pfizer's top seller, bringing in nearly half its revenue – $7.84 billion from direct sales and revenue split with its partner, Germany's BioNTech. Pfizer now anticipates revenue from the two-dose vaccine this year to reach $33.5 billion for the 2.1 billion doses it's contracted to provide by year end. That doesn't include a contract struck last week to provide an additional 200 million doses to the U.S. The New York company on Wednesday disclosed that ongoing testing of a booster shot, given six months after the second vaccine dose, showed it raised antibody levels against the more-transmissible Delta variant to 11 times higher in older people and five times higher in younger people, compared to levels after two doses. Pfizer has delivered more than 1 billion doses of the vaccine globally and expects to make 3 billion doses this year, with many more going to low- and middle-income countries from now through year's end. Most doses of all the COVID-19 vaccines produced in Europe and the U.S. so far have gone to wealthy countries.
Note: When public health is at stake, should private companies be making huge profits like this? Read more in this information article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The new coronavirus variants have raised concerns about whether vaccines will remain effective against this disease. But the vaccines themselves could drive the evolution of more mutants. The virus is always mutating. And if one happens to produce a mutation that makes it less vulnerable to the vaccine, that virus could simply multiply in a vaccinated individual. But even if that happens, that's only one step in the process. If the vaccine keeps virus levels low, even mutated viruses, the infected person won't produce enough to spread to other people. Unfortunately, at the moment, scientists can't answer the most basic questions about this process. How much does the virus actually replicate inside a person who has been vaccinated with either one dose or two? And how effective is that vaccine at limiting infection enough so that the virus levels stay low and prevent the spread to other people? Andrew Read at Penn State University says, whatever the answers may be, vaccine resistance or escape, as it's called, isn't nearly as scary as bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. And this evolutionary pressure is present for any vaccine that doesn't completely block infection. Many vaccines, apparently, including the COVID vaccines, do not completely prevent a virus from multiplying inside someone even though these vaccines do prevent serious illness.
Note: This informative article presents further data that vaccines lead to increased mutation in viruses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
At least 10 out of 26 Indonesian doctors who have died from Covid-19 this month had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, prompting health experts to consider whether medics should receive alternative doses to boost immunity. Indonesia, which has relied on the Chinese-made vaccine for its health workers, is struggling with a new surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday the country announced 20,694 new infections. In Kudus, a town in central Java, more than 500 medical workers have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last two weeks, including one doctor who died. All were fully vaccinated. The data, released by the risk mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association (IMA), adds to questions about the level of protection that Sinovac provides against new, more infectious variants. The vaccine was approved for emergency use this month by the World Health Organization, which said efficacy results showed it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated, and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalisation in 100% of the studied population. However, several countries that have vaccinated a large proportion of their population and used the Chinese-made Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines as part of their inoculation campaigns have reported recent outbreaks. These include Mongolia, Seychelles, Bahrain and Chile.
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One remarkable aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been how often unpopular scientific ideas, from the lab-leak theory to the efficacy of masks, were initially dismissed, even ridiculed, only to resurface later. Another reversal in thinking may be imminent. Some scientists have raised concerns that the safety risks of Covid-19 vaccines have been underestimated. But the politics of vaccination has relegated their concerns to the outskirts of scientific thinking. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or Vaers ... is a database that allows Americans to document adverse events that occur after receiving a vaccine. Vaers data for Covid-19 vaccines shows an interesting pattern. Among the 310 million Covid-19 vaccines administered, several adverse events are reported at high rates in the days immediately following vaccination, then drop sharply thereafter. The silence around these potential signals of harm reflects the policy surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. The stigma of such concerns is bad for scientific integrity and could harm patients. Four serious adverse events follow this arc, according to data directly from Vaers: low platelet count (thrombocytopenia); non-infectious myocarditis or inflammation of the heart, especially in those under 30; deep vein thrombosis. The implication is that the risks of a Covid-19 vaccine may outweigh the benefits for some low-risk populations, such as children, young adults, and people who have recovered from Covid-19.
Note: This article is also available here. Read a revealing article on how the WHO is flip flopping on the safety of vaccines for children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
A CDC safety group said there's a "likely association" between a rare heart inflammatory condition in adolescents and young adults mostly after they've received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot, citing the most recent data available. There have been more than 1,200 cases of a myocarditis or pericarditis mostly in people 30 and under who received Pfizer's or Moderna's Covid vaccine, according to a series of slide presentations published Wednesday for a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis is the inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart. The agency said there have been 267 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis reported after receiving one dose of the mRNA vaccines and 827 reported cases after two doses through June 11. Roughly 300 million of the shots had been administered as of June 11. Men under 30 make up the bulk of the cases, the CDC said. Of the 295 people who have developed the condition and have been discharged, 79% of them have fully recovered. Nine people were hospitalized, with two in intensive care as of June 11. The CDC is coordinating its investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, which last month authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15. Symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, typically develop within a week of receiving the shot with most developing within four days, the agency said.
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The COVID-19 vaccines' second dose can pack a heavy punch. But while most people experience flu-like symptoms and complain of a sore arm, musician and anti-lockdown activist Eric Clapton says his side effects included frozen limbs. Clapton wrote a note recently to Italian architect Robin Monotti Graziadei, who has shared numerous anti-lockdown posts on social media, where he called his experience receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine "disastrous." The former Cream guitarist said he got the vaccine in February. "I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days, I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one," Clapton wrote. "About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot," he continued. "Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone." The side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine – which has not been approved yet for use in the U.S. – are described by the U.K. government as "mild to moderate in nature" and are expected to go away after a few days.
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The CDC announced Thursday that it will convene a meeting of its advisers on June 18th to discuss rare but higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation following doses of the mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. So far, the CDC has identified 226 reports that might meet the agency's "working case definition" of myocarditis and pericarditis following the shots, the agency disclosed Thursday. The CDC first described the panel's session as an "emergency meeting," but later changed it to merely a "COVID-19 meeting." Previous times the advisors convened to discuss the pandemic – like their May 12th gathering to mull recommendations for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents – were also described as "emergency meetings." The new details about myocarditis and pericarditis emerged first in presentations to a panel of independent advisers for the Food and Drug Administration, who are meeting Thursday to discuss how the regulator should approach emergency use authorization for using COVID-19 vaccines in younger children. The CDC previously disclosed that reports of heart inflammation were detected mostly in younger men and teenage boys following their second dose, and that there was a "higher number of observed than expected" cases in 16- to 24-year-olds. "Risk-benefit considerations â€¦ will need to account for this information," [said] Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's vaccine office."
Note: What this article fails to mention is that for every case reported there are very likely many that go unreported. Explore a much more in-depth article on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
All covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the US are available under emergency access only. None of the covid-19 vaccines in use are actually "approved." Through an emergency access mechanism known as Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), the products being rolled out still technically remain "investigational." Factsheets distributed to vaccinees are clear: "There is no FDA approved vaccine to prevent covid-19." One key difference between EUA and approval (also called "licensure," and which for vaccines is known as a BLA (Biologics License Application)) was the expected length of follow-up of trial participants. Unlike its clear articulation of two months for an EUA, the FDA has not committed to a clear minimum for approval. Among the six "first in disease" vaccines approved by the FDA since 2006, pre-licensure pivotal trials were a median of 23 months in duration. Duration of protection is not the only question that longer, placebo controlled trials can address. They also address vaccine safety. The BMJ asked Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) what proportion of trial participants were now formally unblinded, and how many originally allocated to placebo have now received a vaccine. Pfizer declined to say, but Moderna announced that "as of April 13, all placebo participants have been offered the Moderna covid-19 vaccine and 98% of those have received the vaccine." In other words, the trial is unblinded, and the placebo group no longer exists.
Over the past two weeks, Seychelles – which has been dubbed "the most vaccinated country in the world" – has seen a spike in coronavirus cases, causing alarm. The archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with a population of about 98,000, has fully vaccinated more than 60% of its population, but it's also seen its number of active COVID-19 cases nearly double over the past month. The country has closed schools and canceled activities to attempt to curb the spread. Though Seychelles has been called the world's "most vaccinated country," not all vaccines are created equal. The country used two vaccines to inoculate its population – Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned vaccine, and Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, both of which have not been proven to be as effective as the Pfizer-BioNTec and Moderna vaccines. Just last week, the WHO expressed "very low confidence" in data provided by Sinopharm around its risk of severe side effects. Recent clinical trial data found the vaccine was about 78.1% effective after two doses, but the Seychelles outbreak could suggest that the efficacy is less than that. Places like Seychelles also didn't see huge COVID surges earlier in the pandemic, and have lower levels of natural immunity in their communities. Chile is another example of a country with a high vaccination rate that now is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Its number of new daily cases nearly doubled in April from the prior month, even though the country has vaccinated more than 45% of its population.
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No vaccine provides perfect protection, and so-called breakthrough infections after coronavirus vaccination are rare. Federal health officials have told fully vaccinated people they no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distance because they are protected, nor do they need to be tested or quarantine after an exposure, unless they develop symptoms. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped investigating breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated people unless they become so sick that they are hospitalized or die. Earlier this year, the agency was monitoring all cases. Through the end of April, when some 101 million Americans had been vaccinated, the C.D.C. had received 10,262 reports of breakthrough infections from 46 states and territories, a number that was very likely "a substantial undercount," according to a C.D.C. report. On May 1, the agency decided to investigate only the most severe breakthrough infection cases, while still collecting voluntary reports on breakthrough cases from state and local health departments. The agency will carry out vaccine effectiveness studies that include data on breakthrough cases, but only in limited populations, such as health care workers and essential workers, older adults, and residents at long-term care facilities. But even relatively mild cases of Covid-19 can lead to persistent long-term health problems, and it will be difficult to know the full scope without tracking mild infections as well.
Note: This is a convenient way to make it look like case numbers are dropping more than they actually are, which makes the vaccines look more effective than they really are. Learn more on how the CDC is manipulating case figures in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
Covid-19 vaccines have created at least nine new billionaires after shares in companies producing the shots soared. Topping the list of new billionaires are Moderna CEO StÄ‚©phane Bancel and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech, which has produced a vaccine with Pfizer. Both CEOs are now worth around $4 billion, according to an analysis by the People's Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International. Senior executives from China's CanSino Biologics and early investors in Moderna have also become billionaires on paper as shares skyrocketed. Moderna's share price has gained more than 700% since February 2020, while BioNTech has surged 600%. CanSino Biologics' stock is up about 440% over the same period. The company's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in China in February. Activists said the wealth generation highlighted the stark inequality that has resulted from the pandemic. The nine new billionaires are worth a combined $19.3 billion, enough to fully vaccinate some 780 million people in low-income countries. "These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines," Anne Marriott, Oxfam's health policy manager, said. "These vaccines were funded by public money and should be first and foremost a global public good, not a private profit opportunity," she added.
Note: You would hope that with all the suffering going on in our world, big Pharma wouldn't gouge and make huge profits on their vaccines. Sadly, this is far from the truth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
For years, the Gates Foundation has been steered by an unusually small board of trustees, made up of Bill, his estranged wife, Melinda, and the billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The larger the foundation became, the less anyone seemed willing to ask tough questions about its secretive management structure or its penchant for giving money to lucrative pharmaceutical and credit card companies such as Mastercard, despite the fact that giving away billions to wealthy corporations set an unusual and troubling precedent in the philanthropic sector. Billionaires who make their fortunes through corporate practices that undercut workers and deepen inequality – like corporate tax avoidance, insufficient sick pay and the immoral gap in pay between executives and low-paid workers – are not the solution to problems they generate. Asking Bill Gates to fix inequality is like asking an arsonist to hose down your house after he just set it on fire. In April last year, the University of Oxford was reportedly considering offering a Covid-19 vaccine developed by its scientists on a nonexclusive basis. But then, Kaiser Health News reported, "Oxford – urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices." This dealmaking .. seemed to conflict with the Gates Foundation's stated mission to improve global access to medicines, but it's not surprising.
Note: Read more about the Gates Foundation's startling degree of media influence during the pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.
A week ago, the Biden administration announced support for waiving intellectual property protection for Covid-19 vaccines. In response, Bio, a trade association representing biotechnology companies, issued a statement saying, "The United States has unfortunately chosen to set a dangerous precedent with these actions." Efforts to maintain intellectual property rights from life-saving drugs to vaccines have hindered the global response. The Biden administration surprised a lot of observers by coming out in favor of this ... temporary suspension of IP and patent enforcement on certain medications related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Right now, the way that wealthier countries – the U.S. and others – are confronting this crisis for the developing world is through voluntary agreements. There are really two ways to combat this crisis. There's a way to do it in a sense that maximizes profit for the healthcare companies, the pharmaceutical companies. And then there's the more collaborative, nonprofit approach. And early on, pharmaceutical companies were fighting this more collaborative approach. The pharmaceutical companies, in addition, have said they plan to increase prices once the pandemic quote-unquote ends. These companies are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to increase prices.
The pharmaceutical industry is distributing talking points, organizing opposition, and even collecting congressional signatures in an attempt to reverse President Joe Biden's support for worldwide access to generic Covid-19 vaccines. The behind-the-scenes moves ... come as the U.S. last week announced that it would support the World Trade Organization proposal, led by India and South Africa, to temporarily waive enforcement of intellectual property and patent rights on coronavirus vaccines. Without a radical expansion in vaccine manufacturing capacity, many developing countries will not achieve mass vaccination rates until 2023 or 2024. The waiver request, which was unexpectedly endorsed by Biden's administration on May 5, is designed to provide legal immunity for drug firms to copy the formulas of existing vaccines to supply low-cost vaccines to low-income countries. On Wednesday, Jared Michaud, a lobbyist with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group that represents Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and other major drug firms, sent an email laying out the industry's role in coaxing lawmakers to push back against a waiver. One of the documents laid out potential national security concerns and suggested that lawmakers should argue the waiver could empower Russia and China. PhRMA ... spent over $24 million on federal lobbying last year and is one of the biggest corporate players in election spending.
Nearly 40% of US Marines are declining Covid-19 vaccinations, according to data provided to CNN on Friday by the service, the first branch to disclose service-wide numbers on acceptance and declination. As of Thursday, approximately 75,500 Marines have received vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%. The declination rate at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the prominent Marine Corps bases, was far higher, at 57%, according to another set of data. Of 26,400 Marines who have been offered vaccinations, 15,100 have chosen not to receive them. The military cannot make the vaccines mandatory now because they have only emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration, meaning service members who are required to receive a series of other vaccinations have the option of declining shots to protect against Covid-19. Officials say most of the vaccine hesitancy stems from concerns about the speed at which the vaccines were developed and fears over long-term effects. The Defense Department has approximately 2.2 million service members operating around the globe.
The pharmaceutical industry keeps turning up the dial on lobbying, setting massive new spending records in its intensive effort to influence Congress and the Biden administration. Yet this week, President Biden angered drugmakers when he said he supports the waiving of intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines. Drug and health product manufacturers, along with their national association, spent a combined $92 million to lobby the federal government from January through March. That puts the industry on track to break its spending record for the second year in a row. Not only that, but its first-quarter spending was more than double what was spent by the second-highest-spending industry, electronics companies. There are currently 1,270 registered lobbyists for pharmaceuticals and health products – more than two lobbyists for every member of Congress. Pfizer, maker of one of the three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, was the biggest spender of any individual drug company. And last year, as it was developing its vaccine, the federal government agreed to pay the company $1.95 billion for the first 100 million doses it produced. The company reported it had $3.5 billion in revenue from sales of the vaccine so far this year. Pfizer was outflanked on lobbying spending only by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America – the national association that represents the interests of drugmakers.
The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines. Over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO. Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative. The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration "oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights." Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world's population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024.
Note: Has it ever been more clear that big Pharma places profits above health, even when it might cause huge numbers of people to die? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
In the coming months, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, will hear from a growing chorus of developing nations about the foundering efforts to distribute the coronavirus vaccine globally. The nations, many of which have not even begun vaccinating their populations, are demanding that the U.S. support proposals to temporarily waive certain patent and intellectual property rights so that generic coronavirus vaccines can be produced. The proposals have been fiercely opposed by American drugmakers, including Pfizer. ASG ... represents Pfizer. Many leading figures in Biden's administration, including key White House advisers, State Department leaders, and health care officials have financial stake in or professional ties to vaccine manufacturers, which are now lobbying to prevent policies that would cut into future profits over the vaccine. ASG in particular has unusual amounts of sway in the Biden administration. State Department officials Victoria Nuland, Wendy Sherman, Uzra Zeya, and Molly Montgomery previously worked at ASG, as did Philip Gordon, Vice President Kamala Harris's national security adviser. The pharmaceutical industry, in a bid to shield an expected financial windfall, has pressed the Biden administration not only to oppose the waiver, but also to impose trade-related sanctions on countries that back [a] proposal or move to manufacture coronavirus vaccines without permission from patent holders.
Pfizer expects to sell $15 billion worth of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021. That would make it the second-highest revenue-generating drug anytime, anywhere, according to industry reports. The maker of the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for use in advanced markets has released its earning forecasts for 2021 today. Pfizer expects to earn between $59 billion and $61 billion - up from $42 billion it made in 2020. Sales of the vaccine are set to bring in about a fourth of Pfizer's total revenue this year. That would be nearly as much as its three best-selling products combined. The company is expecting profit margins for the vaccine to be between 25% and 30% which means profits from the vaccine could be around $4 billion. All of Pfizer's costs and profits from the vaccine are split evenly with BioNTech, the biotech company that helped develop the treatment. There are is only one drug in the world that sells more - Humira, a prescription medication for arthritis. Pfizer plans on selling 2 billion doses of the vaccine this year, but that demand should subside in coming years so the revenue of Covid-19 vaccine won't be stable, Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla said on an call with analysts and investors. The company expects to continue profiting from it by selling booster doses, including ones required to shield against new variants of the virus, Bourla said. Further, Pfizer is pursuing more avenues to employ the mRNA technology underlying the vaccine, including a flu vaccine and other therapeutic applications.
Note: Read more in this revealing Reuters article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.