The FDA approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is the latest example of how language is manipulated based on what they know about public attitudes and perceptions concerning the so-called pandemic. Studies meant to determine which measures need to be taken to gain the desired compliance are always conducted on the public through social media outlets. For instance, the journal, JMIR Public Health and Surveillance ran a study where they infiltrated social media groups to gauge public perceptions concerning facemask use and social distancing. The purpose was to learn how to better frame their message in real-time in response to non-compliant attitudes. This study was so successful they state their intentions to use the same model to “study the perceptions of other interventions by public health authorities.”
One of these important health interventions is, of course, the vaccine. The message coming from the public health sector is that hesitant people can now feel safe in getting the shot because the FDA has issued its final approval. It is true, many people were unsure of the vaccine’s safety because it had not been approved by the FDA. This is an attitude that was likely learned through studies like the one published in the JMIR Journal. I did a Google Scholar search on Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and there is no shortage of studies which purport to identify the reasons people are hesitant. It just so happens, there is one citing people’s concerns about the safety of the shot and its rapid pace of development in a journal called Nature Medicine.
The vaccine has barely been available to the public for eight months, and they already have a model from which to study people’s attitudes and their hesitancy to get it. It is called “the 5C model of the drivers of vaccine hesitancy.”
“The 5C model of the drivers of vaccine hesitancy’, provides five main individual person–level determinants for vaccine hesitancy: confidence, complacency, convenience (or constraints), risk calculation, and collective responsibility. Promoting the uptake of vaccines (particularly those against COVID-19) will require understanding whether people are willing to be vaccinated, the reasons why they are willing or unwilling to do so, and the most trusted sources of information in their decision-making.”
They do these studies, so they know how to target certain people for attitude change. It was found one of the most trusted sources for vaccine information was health care workers. Therefore, they use Doctors to push the message. It is also believed that most people trust Government. This was a key finding in a study which sought to determine how to persuade people to wear facemasks in 2014. Pushing the message that the FDA has approved the vaccine is specifically designed to target those who are unsure based on what they understand about the reasons people hesitate to get vaccinated.
Did the FDA approve the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, or is this just language designed to manipulate the public into believing they did? According to the FDA’s approval letter sent to Pfizer on August 23, 2021, this so-called approval is nothing more than a continuation of the Emergency Use Authorization which they have been continually authorizing since its release. This is easily discernible in reading the letter.
“On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 16 years of age and older pursuant to Section 564 of the Act. FDA reissued the letter of authorization on December 23, 2020, February 25, 2021, May 10, 2021, June 25, 2021, and August 12, 2021.
On August 23, 2021, FDA approved the biologics license application (BLA) submitted by BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH for COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 16 years of age and older. On August 23, 2021, having concluded that revising this EUA is appropriate to protect the public health or safety under section 564(g)(2) of the Act, FDA is reissuing the August 12, 2021 letter of authorization in its entirety with revisions incorporated to clarify that the EUA will remain in place for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the previously-authorized indication and uses, and to authorize use of COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) under this EUA for certain uses that are not included in the approved BLA.”
If you read that real close you will see they approved a vaccine called Comirnaty, which is not yet available, to give the illusion that they have given the Pfizer shot full authorization. The Phizer shot is still available under the EUA. This is deliberately misleading because they assume, based on years of research in communications and psychology, that most people will simply comply because the information is too hard to follow. It is believed the words, FDA approval, are that is needed to affect attitude change and gain compliance.
In my last article I mentioned something called THE Heuristic/Sufficiency Principle, which states people rarely take the time to retrieve pertinent information, from their memories, to apply it to a decision they must make now. This essentially means they do not believe you can research anything on your own or come to any sensible conclusions about the information they are giving you. There is also something called the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion.
This is a media model of persuasion which places people into two categories. Those who give a thoughtful analysis based on past experiences, and the merits of the information being presented into consideration before changing their position, and those who do not. This is known as taking the central or peripheral route of persuasion. The peripheral route suggests that attitude change can occur because people’s ability to process the information is low, and all it takes are simple “cues to action” in the messaging to produce the desired effect. The central route is just the opposite and requires tweaking of the message. It is necessary to separate the public into those who may have a genuine interest in the message, and those who do not when it comes to crafting the information meant to influence behavior. The most important element is how the information presented is perceived to have a direct impact on the individual.
Another point of interest they surely believe you will not notice is in the approval press release. Towards the bottom, in the last paragraph before the section entitled Ongoing Safety Measures, it is admitted by the FDA that the long-term health effects of this vaccine remain unknown. This is because the trials were not conducted in the proper way. Vaccines typically go through a five-to-ten-year testing process. This one was fast-tracked and approved only under Emergency Use Authorization. Which of course, is one of the reasons people were so hesitant to get it. Now that the FDA has approved it, however….
The bigger point of this article was again, to show that there is a concerted effort to use social science models of behavior to gauge public opinion, so they can tweak the message as necessary to gain the desired compliance with their vaccine agenda. Our attitudes and perceptions towards media messaging are always being evaluated, and they learn in real-time, through our participation in social media, what it is we believe and how to change the message. This is also known as propaganda.