In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, a lot of fake news and misinformation has been circulating on the Internet. Recently, fake news about coronavirus vaccine being developed by US scientists has been making rounds on WhatsApp. It is being said that the US scientists have developed the vaccine and have ordered pharmaceutical giant Roche to launch the vaccine next Sunday. The news spread like a wildfire; check out the WhatsApp forward here.
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Image courtesy: Whatsapp forwards
Coronavirus vaccine rumour was initiated by?
An Instagram profile called Tooro Television, which also has a Facebook profile and Twitter handle by the same name, reportedly initiated the rumour. It posted a photo of sachets of SGTI-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG, claiming that it was coronavirus vaccine. Here is the screenshot of the Instagram post, take a look.
Image courtesy: Tooro_tv Instagram
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Republic TV did a fact check about coronavirus vaccine
- The statement is false according to the fact check performed by Republic TV team. The kit shown in the post is actually an IgM testing kit and not a vaccine. The kit is called SGTi-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG.
- According to the company Sugentech, which manufactures it, the kit is made up of gold nanoparticle-based immunochromatographic, which is used for the determination of IgM and IgG. The test is done by taking blood, serum or plasma sample of the person.
- The company Sugentech is based in South Korea.
- The second statement mentions that Roche pharmaceuticals has been ordered to launch vaccines - this is also False.
- According to the reports, the company Roche Holding and AG will be soon launching the test kits to determine whether a person is positive for coronavirus or not.
Check out the Google trend analysis of the "Coronavirus vaccine rumour" that shows how widespread the rumour is and why people want to know the truth about it.
Google trends analysis of this rumour
Image courtesy: Google Trends
There have been many rumours like these, including the "Russia left 800 lions on the streets to ensure that no person steps out". Republic TV did a fact check about the same and here take a look at what we found:
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Amidst the widespread sharing of such fake news, the government has asked the social media companies to control the spread of such rumours. An advisory was sent out on March 20 to remove any misinformation about novel coronavirus COVID-19 and initiate awareness campaigns so that people can identify a hoax or rumour before sharing it with others.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Latest developments
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned that the antibody tests are still in the study phase.
- Roche Holding and AG’s new high-speed tool that can carry out more than 4,000 results in a single day is expected to help most in need.
- US President Donald Trump approved the use of anti-malarial drug chloroquine for use against the novel coronavirus. He mentioned that chloroquine had shown very encouraging early results, although some more trails are still going on.
- Reportedly, three COVID-19 patients in Rajasthan were successfully cured with a combination of swine flu medicines, chloroquine, and HIV drugs.
- Russia's Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) on Friday stated that three prototypes of a vaccine against COVID-19 are already ready. They are undergoing animal testing and the results of the pilot tests are expected in June. The vaccine is expected to be ready in next 11 months.
- Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp believes that his company CureVac will be ready with the COVID-19 vaccine by autumn. Dietmar said that it would depend on the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute on how fast they can develop a vaccine. However, the vaccine would have to go through its normal course of animal testing and human trials before being released in bulks.
- In February, Dr Bruce Aylward from WHO mentioned the one drug that they are placing their stakes on with respect to efficacy is Remdesivir. The drug is still under development.
- Even Israel has started developing the vaccine, but according to the latest reports, it won't be released any sooner as they have a specific set of procedures to go through before which they cannot release the drugs in the market.
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