Sloppy journalism

This is written by the ‘Science Editor’ of the Daily Telegraph:

“The Oxford jab is cheaper because it relies on traditional methods of vaccine production. In this case, the spike protein of coronavirus, which helps it attach to human cells, has been inserted into a common cold virus”. [1]

It is wrong. The Oxford ‘jab’ works by inserting into the deactivated chimpanzee virus the genetic instructions to produce the spike protein. [2] It is not the spike protein of Sars-Cov-2 which has been inserted. A fundamental error. The Science Editor. But this kind of sloppy reporting is the norm these days – and is indicative of the general collapse in values in public life.

Its is also interesting that this text describes the Oxford candidate as being based on “a common cold virus”. In fact it is based on a chimpanzee virus. There are two possible reasons why the science editor will have disguised this fact. Either she is trying to produce pro vaccine propaganda and is aware that the fact that the vector is a deactivated chimpanzee virus will influence some people not to accept the vaccine, or she is producing counter-propaganda against (alleged) [3] Russian attempts to discredit the Oxford virus by saying it is based on a ‘monkey’ virus. Either way she is failing in the chief function of a science journalist – to provide accurate and complete information in an intelligible form for people to make their own minds up.

For clarity this is how the Oxford virus works. [2]

Notes

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/10/oxford-v-pfizer-costs-logistics-could-still-see-oxfords-vaccine/
  2. https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-10-22-oxford-covid-19-vaccine-follows-its-programmed-genetic-instructions-independent
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8845937/Russia-spreads-fake-news-claiming-Oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-turn-people-MONKEYS.html

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer