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EMA says leaked COVID documents ‘manipulated’ to undermine trust in vaccines

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The European Union’s Medicines Agency (EMA) has said that COVID-19 vaccine information stolen in a cyberattack last December and leaked online last week were “manipulated” before their release on the internet to undermine trust in vaccines.

“Some of the correspondence has been manipulated by the perpetrators prior to publication in a way which could undermine trust in vaccines,” the Amsterdam-based agency said in a statement on Friday. 

An investigation of the cyberattack foundation that the data stolen included internal/confidential email correspondence dating from November, relating to evaluation processes for COVID-19 vaccines, the statement adds, whilst stressing the urgency to make vaccines available to EU citizens as soon as possible.

Europe’s drug regulator did not specify how information was altered and the cyberattack has not been attributed to a specific hacking group or state actor, while a criminal investigation remains ongoing.

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