Last month, German Health Minister and renowned virus pest Karl Lauterbach gave a remarkable interview in which he denounced “exorbitant” pharmaceutical profits, deplored “dismaying” vaccine injuries, and called for the manufacturers to set aside funds for those who have been harmed. He did so amid a growing wave of reporting on vaccine injuries in the German press – a wave which his statements have now turned into a tsunami. In the weeks since, vaccine injuries and side effects have become the dominant theme of German press coverage on the jabs, from local papers to national media.
It’s been a serious shift, the likes of which I’m not sure has unfolded in any other country. To give you a taste of it, I’ve assembled a representative selection of stories from the last eight weeks or so, in roughly reverse chronological order. As you read through them, remember that these are all links to publications read by ordinary people; I’ve excluded all media with overt Covid-sceptic associations.
- From the national tabloid BILD:
He lost his sight: Dietmar S. sues BioNTech for 150,000 Euros.
Dietmar S. became as good as blind in his right eye following Covid vaccination. Now the case is going to trial.
- From Der Spiegel:
“The problems are hushed up”: Marburg cardiologist Bernhard Schieffer treats people who suffer from long-term symptoms after Covid vaccinations. He criticises the lack of support – and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.
- From the Hessische/Niedersäschsische Allgemiene, a regional paper:
Post-Vac: “My life is no longer like before” – Sick after Covid vaccination.
Almost five million people in Hesse have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Some have developed serious illnesses afterwards. One of them is Dieter Gebert from Kassel.
- From the local Frankfurter Neue Presse:
Lupus after Covid vaccination: A young woman from Hesse is treated in special Cologne clinic.
19-year-old Juline from Butzbach was severely injured by a Corona vaccination and now requires expensive immunoadsorption.
- From the state media behemoth ZDF:
Covid vaccine injury: Do manufacturers face liability? Anyone who has suffered vaccine damage can take action against the vaccine manufacturers and apply for state benefits. But the hurdles for compensation are high.
- From tagesschau, a major state media news service:
Soon the first lawsuits will start: Across Germany, there are almost 200 civil lawsuits against Corona vaccine manufacturers like BioNTech. The plaintiffs claim to have been harmed by the vaccination.
- From the regional Schwäbische Zeitung:
Injection with an aftermath: A man from Sigmaringen suffered a stroke after Covid vaccination
Shortly after the second jab, Bernhard Strobel collapsed. He still feels the consequences today. Now he is going to court.
- Again from BILD:
VACCINE INJURY! 1ST CASE BEFORE THE COURT: Oxana G. (35) is wheelchair-bound following Covid vaccination.
Across Germany, 185 civil lawsuits are pending because of damages caused by Corona vaccinations. Oxana G. (35) is one of the injured parties. The fact that the courts are finally dealing with her case is already seen as a success by the woman from Halle: “I have lost my life – as I knew it before. I hope that my family and I will finally receive compensation and help.”
- From Hessenschau, a publication of regional Hessischer Rundfunk:
Sick following Covid vaccination: Why official points of contact [for the vaccine injured] are necessary.
Around five million people in Hesse have been vaccinated against Corona. Some have become seriously ill as a result of the vaccination. Those affected often fail in their search for medical expertise; they feel abandoned by the health system and the state.
- From Die Zeit, Germany’s largest weekly newspaper:
What we know about Covid vaccine injury: Karl Lauterbach has promised victims of vaccine damage faster help – and caused confusion about how common it is in the first place. The state of the question.
- From the Berliner Zeitung:
Covid vaccine researcher: “Allegations must be investigated immediately.”
Vaccine researcher Carlos A. Guzmán talks about the benefits, limitations and side effects of the Covid vaccine – as well as allegations of inconsistencies in the approval process.
- From the Bamberg-based news portal inFranken:
Pensioner (87) dies eight months after Covid vaccination – his son’s lawsuit fails.
After an elderly man died within a few months of Covid vaccination, his son filed a lawsuit against the doctor. He has now failed before the Landgericht.
- Again from ZDF:
The suffering of Covid vaccine victims: Long-term complaints can occur following a Corona infection. Vaccination is supposed to protect against this – but it can also have side effects. What’s next for the vaccine-injured?
- From Tagesspiegel:
Possible heart damage after Covid vaccination: Woman sues BioNTech for damages.
The company is facing its first civil lawsuit for alleged damages caused by the Corona vaccine. The trial is scheduled to begin on 15 March at the Frankfurter Landgericht.
The trend is so dominant that it colours all other reporting on Covid and the vaccines. It’s hard to miss the subtle anxiety at work in pieces like this one from the Vienna-based Standard, asking whether we’ll have to vaccinate ourselves against Corona every year from here on out, or the not-so-veiled notes of hope in ZDF reporting on successful Phase 1 trials of the German nasal vaccine. What’s the big deal about regular vaccination and why should we care about new live attenuated vaccines, if the mRNA jabs were God’s gift to man?
There are clear, encouraging patterns here. The reporting originally surrounded lawsuits brought against the vaccine manufacturers, but has steadily assumed a more general focus. Regional and local papers are carrying a big share of these stories, with major state media playing a supporting role. The publications most popular with German biens pensants, meanwhile, like Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit and even Frankfurter Allgemeine, are pointedly underrepresented. This is a trend driven from the bottom up by popular interest, and in that it is the opposite of much Covid reporting since 2020.
Of course, these stories have always been out there, but until the last few months, enthusiasm for the vaccines was sufficient to suppress them. As with all pandemic policies, mass vaccination exhibits qualities of inertia. Obsession steadily grew through the summer months of 2021, as the jab failed to eradicate Covid, and achieved a frenzied peak around December 2021. There was nothing to do about the insane mania and its manifold irrationality back then, and the steady disenchantment with these products will prove just as inexorable.
This isn’t the repudiation I would have chosen. The focus on isolated stories allows the very same press outlets to recycle WHO propaganda that the vaccines have saved a million European lives, and to repeat uncritically the claims of foolish regulators that “vaccination was the decisive factor” in ending the pandemic. I also have reservations about the emerging discussion of “Post-Vac Syndrome” – not because I doubt that the vaccines have made people sick, but because it seems to be built from the same ill-defined grab-bag of fibromyalgia-adjacent symptoms as Long Covid. This is a continuation of the media-supported myth that vaccine injuries are merely a subset of the long-term sequelae from Covid itself, and it’s a not-so-subtle way to preempt any kind of cost-benefit analysis. But, for a pandemic that was also built largely on innumerate anecdotes, and a media that has proven chronically unable to notice basic patterns or count things, perhaps this is the only repudiation that was ever possible.
The pharmaceuticals have made a lot of money, but their mRNA vaccines have failed. The Robert Koch Institut have stopped updating their vaccine dashboard, after almost four months of totally flatlined uptake; one of the foremost mRNA promoters, Bill Gates, has called the jabs a disappointment and compared them unfavourably to masks, of all things; and BioNTech, facing a revenue decline of 70%, have announced an impending return to mRNA-based cancer therapies – their original focus upon their founding in 2008, where they’ve never enjoyed particular success. Perhaps if the vaccinators had proceeded cautiously, limiting their promises and jabbing only the most vulnerable on a strictly voluntary basis, they could’ve preserved some future for their doubtful products. Instead, they oversold and over-administered their snake oil, and two years later most people have decided they don’t like it very much.