Disinfo: WHO said Russian vaccine against coronavirus is safe and efficient

Summary

WHO declares Russian coronavirus vaccine safe and efficient. The World Health Organization (WHO) has thanked Russia for developing a vaccine against coronavirus.

Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe at the WHO, said after negotiations with the head of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko: “WHO highly appreciates the efforts of the Russian Federation in the development of a vaccine against coronavirus, namely Sputnik V. I would like to thank the Minister [of Health of Russia] for those steps to develop the vaccine, it is safe and effective.”

Disproof

The statement is untrue.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet NTV attributes the quote to the Regional Director for Europe at the WHO, Hans Kluge, saying that he finds the Russian Covid-19 vaccine "safe and efficient". No recorded clip of Has Kluge is included in the report from 21 September, only an interpretation of his words is provided.

During the news conference on 20 August Hans Kluge said (time codes: 44:11-45:08):

"Any advances in a vaccine development is a very encouraging news. The Russian Federation has a long tradition of vaccine development and uptake if we think on yellow fever vaccine or poly vaccine domestic lib. So it’s a very welcome news. But every vaccine has to go the same rigorous standards of efficacy and safety and ultimately it is only one known way to do it is clinical trials: phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3, including phase 3, which speaks about much larger audience to which the vaccine is really administered to see whether it is safe. And WHO is being indeed invited to review thoroughly the date."

On September 23 TASS agency reported that WHO "plans to support the promotion of Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V". To date, no news on that was communicated by WHO itself beyond the already announced ongoing data analysis.

In general, there are widespread concerns that the approval of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus is premature. At the time of approval, the vaccine had not even started phase 3 trials, reminds the Lancet.

See more narratives that Russia combats coronavirus more effectively than the democracies, such as Trying to catch up with Russia, the West lost another round in the fight against pandemic; There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine except the Russian one, says Reuters.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination, WHO

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

The crowds protesting in Belarus are computer generated imagery

Look at this photo: it’s like an ocean of people. But look at the distances between people in the first row! It is impossible that there can be such distances in a crowd like that. It is impossible! There should be no space at all, first, second, third row should be full. But they’re not as you can see. It is a clearly an example of computer graphics.

Disproof

An unfounded claim to suggest the absence of popular support for the protests in Belarus.

The filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov certainly demonstrates an allegedly doctored picture, but Russian journalists have documented that the original broadcast did not contain the picture, demonstrated on Mikhalkov's show.

The US has worked on Novichok since the 70s

Although the US has been working on Novichok and similar poisonous substances since the 1970s, they quite actively deny its existence in their military arsenal.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Novichok and the Navalny poisoning. Also, a good example of whataboutism.

No proof given. Until 2019, Novichok was not on the list of banned chemicals, as Russia had not confirmed its existence. Novichok was listed after the Skripals' poisoning at the initiative of the US,  the Netherlands and Canada. Suspicions that the USSR had been concealing the existence of poisonous chemical substances have been raised before.

Labs could not prove that Novichok was involved because they don’t have any sample

Without the original Novichok sample to compare the analysis made with a mass spectrometer, it is impossible to know if the traces found in Alexei Navalny are really Novichok. This is a huge inconsistency and it makes us doubt the veracity of the public declarations.

Disproof

Disinformation message on the Alexei Navalny poisoning and the Novichok class of lethal agents.

On Monday, 14 September 2020 the German government stated that: