Forbes recently published reports on the Delta variant which continues to be the dominant lineage in new COVID-19 cases around the world. The American magazine shared two reports which spoke on the efficacy of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines against the delta variant on its official Twitter handle on July 23. However, the conflicting captions of the two reports shared in a gap of less than half an hour, left Netizens baffled.
Forbes took to Twitter on July 23 (Friday) to share two reports it had published on the efficacy of the two vaccines on the Delta Variant. Forbes shared the first report on its official Twitter handle, at 11:11 pm on July 23, with the text that reads: “New study suggests Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is far less effective at preventing infection and symptomatic illness with the delta variant”.
Minutes later, at 11:38 pm on July 23, it shared another report with the caption “New study finds Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine are both effective against the Delta variant.
The stark contradiction in the two captions did not go unnoticed by the social media users, who accused media, the likes of the American magazine Forbes of carrying out a misinformation campaign. “Conflicting messaging has befuddled the common man”, opined a social media user, while sharing the contradictory reports by Forbes.
Both these headlines from Reuters. What in god’s name are these ppl trying to do? This pandemic has seen the worst kind of misinformation campaign. Conflicting messaging has befuddled the common man. @optimistsurgeon @amitsurg pic.twitter.com/vW7X9dXell— Rashmi Rao (@rrao74) July 24, 2021
It is pertinent to note here that while Forbes has retained one of its Tweets, it seems to have deleted the other one which was posted almost at the same time yesterday. The two reports are, however, still available on the internet.
One of them was reported on July 21 and was headlined: “Study Finds Pfizer And AstraZeneca Vaccines Effective Against The Delta Variant — As Long As You Get Both Doses”.
The other one was reported on July 23 and headlined: “Pfizer Shot Just 39% Effective Against Delta Infection, But Largely Prevents Severe Illness, Israel Study Suggests”.
On reading both these reports, it becomes clear that the first report talks about a study of 19,000 people conducted by Public Health England, that found both doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines help protect against symptoms from both the alpha (B.1.1.7, also known as the U.K. variant) and delta variants at comparable rates.
The second one, meanwhile, specifies that the recent data from Israel’s health ministry suggests Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is far less effective at preventing infection and symptomatic illness with the Delta variant than with previous strains of coronavirus. It also mentions that the Israeli findings are in contradiction with several other studies assessing the vaccine’s performance against the Delta variant.
After reading the reports, what one understands is that not the reports, the problem lied with the captions attributed to them while shared on the microblogging site.