FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims A Coronavirus Vaccine Is Ready

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 500 times claims U.S. researchers have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that can cure patients within three hours.

“Time to celebrate the goodness of God & the scientists!” reads the post.

Verdict: False

No vaccine or specific antiviral drug is currently available to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.

Fact Check:

The spread of the new coronavirus has coincided with a proliferation of social media posts touting bogus COVID-19 cures and treatments, such as smoking marijuana and ingesting colloidal silver. On March 24, a post claimed U.S. researchers have developed a vaccine against COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“Great News! Carona (sic) virus vaccine ready. Able to cure patients within 3 hours after injection,” reads the post. “Right now Trump announced that the Roche Medical Company will launch the vaccine next Sunday and millions of doses are ready from it!!!”

It also appears to imply that an accompanying photo of medical sachets shows the alleged vaccine.

Had U.S. researchers developed a vaccine, it would have been picked up by major media outlets, yet none have reported on it. President Donald Trump also has not mentioned anything to that effect in press briefings, nor has he put anything on his Twitter accounts.

The World Health Organization notes on its website that there is currently no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19.

“Roche Medical Company” likely references the biotech firm Roche. On March 19, the company did announce that it would be conducting a clinical trial to see if the drug tocilizumab is an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients with pneumonia, but Roche has not made any announcements of a coronavirus vaccine.

The photo of the medical sachets shows COVID-19 testing kits from a South Korean company called Sugentech – not a vaccine, as the post seems to falsely imply. (RELATED: Can Inhaling Hot Air From A Sauna Or Hair Dryer Kill Coronavirus?)

Numerous companies and academic institutions are currently working on developing vaccines against the novel respiratory disease, according to The Guardian.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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