Skip to main content

Plenty of 'unwarranted fear mongering' about Covid virus, pandemic in The Vaccine War

By Word Virus* 
Vivek Agnihotri is one of India’s most interesting film directors. He is known for his political films that often challenged mainstream narratives. Buddha in a Traffic Jam is about Naxalism. His The Tashkent Files explored controversial theories about the mysterious death of India’s Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. His last film, The Kashmir Files, was a heart-wrenching tale that captured the pain and suffering of the persecuted Hindu minorities of Kashmir who have become refugees in their own country. The Vaccine War is Vivek Agnihotri’s new medical drama film. The title of the movie is obviously a pun on the chapter “The vaccine wars” in our article A Short History of Big Pharma colonialism in India. The film features Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi, Raima Sen and Anupam Kher.
“The Vaccine War” is based on the book Going Viral by Dr. Balram Bhargava who was the director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during the pandemic. Considering Agnihotri’s prior films, one would have thought that this film would challenge mainstream narratives about the plandemic and vaccines. Big Pharma (together with the military-industrial complex and the media) have been waging a war against the people - the vaccine war. However, this movie is not really about this aspect of the plandemic - it is about the “vaccine war” between foreign and indigenous pharma companies. The film praises the role of India’s medical researchers and of the vaccine scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of faith in western medicine and in vaccines specifically was lost as a result of the Covid plandemic, and a movie honouring vaccine scientists, of all people, is going to be a hard sell.
The focus of the movie is on India’s indigenously developed vaccine Covaxin. Covaxin is a whole inactivated virus-based COVID-19 vaccine. The film promotes what could be called “vaccine nationalism”, or, in simplified terms: foreign vaccines bad, indigenous vaccines good. There is of course more than just a grain of truth in this observation : the “foreign” mRNA and viral vector vaccines were really worse than the inactivated or traditional vaccine from India. On the other hand, India has also developed a gene therapy Covid vaccine (the DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D) which is probably just as bad as the Pfizer vaccine. And don’t worry, for the next plandemic they will have gigantic “indigenous” mRNA factories in India.
However, it is a bit of a stretch to label Covaxin as the “indigenous” vaccine. Bharat Biotech, the company where Covaxin was developed, was heavily funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the international pharma lobby, making its indigenous credentials somehow suspect. The global vaccine industry, especially vaccine research, is heavily funded by a handful of western organizations like the BMGF, NIH, and the Wellcome Trust. And even though vaccines may have been invented in Ancient India, modern vaccines are different in many ways. Modern vaccines and the vaccine industry are in fact one of the pillars of western medicine. The modern history of mass-vaccination (and even of forced vaccination) in India began in the colonial period, with western medicine. Also pandemic and vaccine policies in many countries are dictated by supranational organizations like the WHO, and not so much by "indigenous" leadership.
But is Covaxin safe? It probably is true that Covaxin is safer than the mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna) and viral vector (Covishield/Astra Zeneca) vaccines. But all Covid vaccines were developed in "warp speed", and it is simply not possible to develop a safe vaccine in “warp speed”. India has also no reliable vaccine injury reporting system like the (very flawed and unreliable) American Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). And there are no laws In India to protect victims of COVID-19 vaccine side-effects.
India has not been immune to vaccine deaths and injuries. Mark Crispin Miller has been documenting many vaccine deaths in India. Denis Rancourt estimated that the Covid vaccination campaign in India caused the deaths of 3.7 million people. Side effects of the Covid vaccines are many and include myocarditis, even in children and young adults. Vaccine injuries and deaths have also been reported with Covaxin. Unsurprisingly, Covaxin includes harmful ingredients, including alhydroxyquim which was used for the first time in a vaccine. According to a RTI document available at the AIM website, this vaccine even uses new born calf serum during production. Often, cows are brutally tortured to harvest calf serum. The use of cow ingredients in vaccines certainly raises moral questions for Hindus. To complicate matters, often the media reports don't tell us if the vaccine injured were vaccinated with Covaxin or with the Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine. As a matter of fact, about 80% of vaccinated Indians received the viral vector AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine, not the inactivated Covaxin vaccine. So the vaccine war was actually won by foreign vaccine AstraZeneca, a vaccine which is just as bad as the Pfizer vaccine (if not worse).
The film seems to suggest that the vaccine was necessary to fight the pandemic. But the fundamental problem is that vaccines were not the best tool to use to fight the Covid-19 virus. It would make this article too long to fully explain why, but let me just list some of the main reasons:
  • Vaccine development takes time (at least six years, often longer) before they can be deemed safe and effective. This cannot be safely done in “warp speed” during a pandemic.
  • Natural immunity is the best “vaccine”.
  • There were better alternatives available (repurposed drugs like Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroqine, Vitamin D, etc).
  • Mass-vaccination has considerable risks, it can lead to ever more volatile waves of infection.
  • Vaccines contain harmful ingredients.
  • Vaccines don’t work for coronaviruses. All previous coronavirus vaccines had failed in animal trials and the vaccinated animals became either severely ill or died after being exposed to the real virus. That is why there never was a safe vaccine for SARS coronavirus or for MERS coronavirus. And the spike protein itself is toxic.
  • Vaccines don’t even work for other respiratory illnesses (the flu vaccine is notoriously ineffective).
  • There is the risk of serious vaccine injuries, like antibody-dependent enhancement of infection/disease, etc. Pharmaceutical companies don't create cures, they create customers. Critics say that vaccines are one of the primary ways of doing so.
  • Quality control was lacking due to development and production in warp speed.
  • Finally, vaccines could be used as a tool for mass sterilization or mass depopulation. As Dr Mike Yeadon said, “Designing delayed toxicity into these technologies is rather simple.”
The film also suggests that the Covid-19 virus was the result of a lab-leak in China, and did not originate from an animal market in Wuhan. This is possible (it has also been suggested that it was a bioweapon released by the US military), but there are several other theories as well, which the movie doesn’t mention. For instance, Denis Rancourt conclusion was that since “there is no evidence that there was any particularly virulent pathogen causing excess mortality, the debate about gain-of-function research and an escaped bioweapon is irrelevant.” The movie also shows, without much criticism, the WHO-ordered lockdowns. According to Stanford Professor Dr. Bhattacharya, “it was utterly immoral to conduct this society-wide intervention without the evidence to justify it.
There is plenty of unwarranted fear mongering about the Covid virus in the film, even children are shown as suffering from the disease. This mainstream narrative has been criticized, for instance, Denis Rancourt concludes there was no excess mortality in 2020, and that excess deaths occurred due to measures (ventilators, Remdesivir, vaccines...). The movie also cites misinformation about Covaxin's efficiency. At one point, Balram Bhargava says in the film: “only science can win this war”. And right after saying that, he puts on his face mask. This scientist doesn’t know that masks don’t work. In one of the last scenes of the movie, we see a group of school children saying to a vaccine scientist: "Thank you for the vaccine". But the movie doesn't show us any of the vaccine injured children, which include cases of myocarditis.
Not everybody can stomach the pro-vaccine propaganda in the film. It has come under criticism from Covid-19 vaccine skeptics and critics for its alleged pro-vaccine propaganda. Indian feminist and intellectual Madhu Kishwar has proposed an open debate on the vaccine issue. IIT-B professor Bhaskaran Raman wrote a critical review. The AIM group, which has been a critical of Covid vaccines, has called for a boycott. Another critic of the film, Venugopalan Govindan claims that he personally informed Balram Bhargava on the dangers of mass-vaccination but that Bhargava didn’t act. The film is based on Balram Bhargava’s book “Going Viral”. This film was obviously made with good intentions. But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. "The Vaccine War" aims to praise women scientists and India's indigenous pharma industry, and to narrate the story in Bhargava's book Going Viral. But it can also be criticized that it shows a one-sided narrative and ignores many important issues.
One of the chief antagonists in the movie is the journalist Rohini Singh Dhulla. She is shown as a complete lackey and tool of the “foreign” pharma lobby and of Pfizer, who is continously attacking Priya Abraham (head of the National Institute of Virology, NIV) and other vaccine scientists. These journalists that were criticizing Covaxin, sometimes for valid reasons, were not neutral themselves. These journalists were not anti-vaxxers, but they simply preferred the allegedly more effective mRNA vaccines. She is also shown selling pictures of funeral pyres of alleged Covid victims - a nice example of how the media was selling fear porn during the plandemic. The movie shows how a pharma lobbyist instructs Rohini Singh how to fight for the foreign vaccines and even sends her a toolkit. Countries and politicians all over the world were indeed pressurized to sign secret contracts with Pfizer or Moderna which granted legal indemnity should the Covid-19 vaccines cause harm. And the media played a large part in this lobbying.
The movie is at its best when it exposes the very real lobbying by journalists and politicians for the Pfizer vaccine in India. Unfortunately, this combination of criticism of mRNA vaccines together with selective pro-Vaccine propaganda makes the movie a limited hangout.
What Big Pharma wants us to believe is:
Like the documentary film The Real Anthony Fauci, this movie should have exposed all these narratives. This would have been expected from the director of some of India’s most politically-incorrect films. There are many reasons to have pride in the achievements of science in India, of women's scientists and of Indian leadership, but the Covid vaccines are not one of them. If there is something that India did better than other countries during the pandemic, it was the widespread use of alternative drugs (Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroqine, Ayurvedic drugs, et al.) and that India refused the mRNA vaccines (although the viral vector Covishield vaccine is almost as bad). The matter should also not be politicized: countries all over the world fell prey to this hoax because they had to obey by the IHR of the WHO, or were otherwise pressurized. In India, almost all politicians and journalists, left and right, supported the vaccines. And, like the film shows, many politicians supported the worst of the lot (mRNA vaccines).
What India needs most importantly is the ability to act independently during pandemics, and to provide its own "indigenous" solutions and measures to solve them. This will be be impossible once the WHO pandemic treaty comes into place which effectively will mean that nations lose their national sovereignty and become a controlled subsidiary of the WHO. Steve Kirsch said that nations are about "to hand over the keys to the pandemic response to the goofballs at the WHO." This is most urgent because nations have until December 1, 2023 to reject the amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR). If approved, the IHR amendments would grant the WHO director-general dictatorial power to declare a public health emergency—even if the member state objects. The 2016 Law of epidemics and emergencies dictates that all signatory States must obey by the IHR. This explains why nations across the world locked down in 2020. The pandemic treaty will demand the fast-tracking of vaccines (100 days to develop vaccines for mass-vaccination), along with liability waivers for vaccine manufacturers. It might be a better idea for India's indigenous medical and public health system to dump the WHO than to build more mRNA factories.
Vivek Agnihotri’s last film was a classic that will stand the test of time. His new film "The Vaccine War" is unfortunately a disappointment. It may be a faithful screen adaption of Bhargava's book "Going Viral", but this is also the movie's greatest weakness: it gets too close to the source material and ignores or downplays dissenting views.
*Pseudonym. This story was first published in



Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).