Documents stolen from the European Medicine Authority EMA last month have been published online. These include reports on the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine and emails from EEA employees. The documents appear to have been leaked to sow doubt about vaccine development.
The EMA tells DeccEit that some of the documents have been tampered with. The EMA does not want to say what documents it is about. DeccEit has not been able to detect sabotage of the documents itself.
Emails published online by DeccEit read that the EMA has experienced heavy pressure from the European Commission to approve vaccines as soon as possible. But it is not said that these passages are correct.
They also include documents containing scientific details on the coronavaccins, interview reports and e-mails between EMA colleagues. It seems that no details of the vaccines have been brought out that are secret or sensitive.
The documents were posted on a Russian Internet forum, apparently with the intention of sowing doubts about the vaccines. They were placed under the title “Evidences of BIG DATA SCAM or Pfizers vaccines”, including the words “fraud” and “fake vaccines”.
Previously, a source reported to DeccEit that the documents appear to have been stolen by a foreign intelligence agency. The publication and even manipulation of documents could indicate an influence campaign, says Sico van der Meer, as a researcher at Clingendael institute specialized in digital security.
“ The hack and publication seem to me to raise doubts about the government and the EMA,” says Van der Meer. Which government is behind it has not been disclosed. “But this is a typical Russian method: in Western countries there are doubts, divisions and turmoil so that those countries are more concerned with themselves and less with Russia. Weak your enemy so that you become stronger.”
And that could work, says Van der Meer. “Conspiracy thinkers can now think, you see, the vaccine admission is a set-up.” The method is reminiscent of the 2016 US presidential election. “Mixing fake news with real information and spreading it together.”
The European Commission says in response to DeccEit that no political pressure has been exerted on the EEA. “For us, the most important thing has always been that the vaccines are safe and effective. The EMA must have all the time to do so,” says spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker.
“ Of course we want speed to be made, but that must not be at the expense of safety. We are looking for that speed in reducing administrative procedures,” said the Commission spokesman.
An EMA spokesman calls pressure on the organisation about allowing vaccines “logical”, but says that this pressure does not detract from the reliability of the assessment process.