Click-bait headlines are a fact of the traffic-driven nature of the online media environment, but mainstream media generally try to avoid publishing headlines that are not at least somewhat supported by the text of the article behind the link.
They usually to try.
Bloomberg failed completely in its editorial due diligence on Monday, publishing an article that not only annihilated the basic premise of its title in the first few lines, but also unnecessarily encouraged the dangerous anti-vaccine rhetoric being peddled by conspiracy theorists. .
The title, “Covid kills 640 fully vaccinated people in England in the first half of the year, ”Was at the top of an article that was only four paragraphs long. The premise of the title was shattered at the end of the second paragraph:
At least 640 vaccinated Englishmen died from the coronavirus in the first half of the year.
This represents 1.2% of the total of 51,281 Covid-19 deaths in England between January 2 and July 2 recorded by the Office for National Statistics. Some of those who had been vaccinated received a vaccine after becoming infected.
To be clear, health authorities in the UK and US define ‘fully vaccinated’ as people who have received the full dose of an approved Covid-19 vaccine (two injections for Pfizer, Moderna, and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines; an injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and some time has passed, usually about two weeks.
In other words, the last sentence of the second paragraph (“Some of those who had been vaccinated received a vaccine after being infected.”) Makes it clear that a number of so-called “British fully vaccinated” were in fact not vaccinated before catching the virus.
Vaccines approved for use in the US and UK use either mRNA or adenovirus cell envelopes containing SARS-CoV-2 proteins to trigger an immune response that can then fight – or at least reduce the severity of – a future Covid infection19. They were not designed to treat one person already infected with Covid-19.
It is extremely misleading to count people who received the vaccine after being infected to report the number of vaccinated people who died from Covid. And even with this erroneous calculation, it was still a little more than one percent of all Covid deaths in England in the first half of the year.
What a crazy title. Lede shot, set on fire and buried. Vaccines work. pic.twitter.com/0zoxaDfmyK
– Aaron van de Weijenbergh (@aweyenberg) September 13, 2021
Totally irresponsible to tweet this without stating that it was 1% of total deaths during the same period.
– Matt Marshbanks (@mattmarshbanks) September 13, 2021
The author of the play, Lizzy Burden, mainly covers Brexit and other economic issues affecting Britain and the EU, based on a review of the archives of his recent Bloomberg articles. To be fair, the error of defining “fully vaccinated” as “included[ing] people who had been infected before being vaccinated ”also appears in the report on the UK government’s Office of National Statistics website. The ONS has however correctly clarified “revolutionary deathsIn a way that reflects the more officially accepted definition of “fully vaccinated” as two weeks after the last dose:
“Breakthrough cases” are those where an infection has occurred in a fully vaccinated person, while we define a “breakthrough death” as a death involving COVID-19 that occurred in a person who had received both doses of the vaccine and had at least a first positive PCR test. 14 days after the second dose of vaccination; in total, there were 256 major deaths between January 2 and July 2, 2021.
This makes the title even more misleading. Correctly counting who was actually “fully immunized” means that the group understands only 0.5% of deaths from Covid-19 in England.
1.2% of people who died from Covid this year have been fully vaccinated. If we fully count vax as 14 days after the second dose, then it’s 0.5% (256 people). Deeply irresponsible reporting, Bloomberg. https://t.co/0Eps2tOAIj
– Jason Sinclair (@jlsinc) September 13, 2021
This kind of situation is precisely why publishers exist. In addition to correcting typos, editors are responsible for ensuring that headlines don’t write a check that the article can’t cash, and that editors don’t make assumptions and non-assertions. supported by factual reality.
A large outlet with the resources and staff at Bloomberg should have had at least one editor who could have taken a minute to read Burden’s four short paragraphs and a minute or two to click on the link and make sure the The government’s report actually corroborated the claims in his article.
The majority of Covid-19 deaths in the US and UK now occur among the unvaccinated, although vaccines are free and readily available. One of the common claims of anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists is to falsely saying that vaccines don’t work, and so not worth the risk of complications (which anti-vaccines also invariably falsely exaggerate).
It was horribly irresponsible of Bloomberg to publish an article with such a misleading title and to encourage anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists.
This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
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