A WhatsApp forward is doing the rounds claiming that the Covid-19 vaccine is ready and as announced by US President Donald Trump, it will be launched next Sunday. It also claims that the vaccine discovered by the US scientists can cure a Covid-19 infected patient within 3 hours. With the WhatsApp forward, the alleged image of the vaccine is also being shared.
Here’s what the WhatsApp forward exactly reads, “Great news! Coronavirus vaccine ready. Able to cure patients within 3 hours after injection. Hats off to US Scientists. Right now Trump announced that Roche Medical Company will launch the vaccine next Sunday, and millions of doses are ready from it !!!”
As we began to fact-check this claim, we first observed the image carefully and we observed that the name of the manufacturer and the alleged vaccine is mentioned on the wrapper. Using the details mentioned on the wrapper, we searched Google for more information.
We found several media reports on the aforementioned viral image.
Many of these media reports suggested that the said viral image is of a kit developed by a South Korean firm that can detect Covid19 in 10 minutes. For instance, the report published by the Nigerian news outlet claimed that the test kit developed by a South Korean firm can diagnose coronavirus in 10 minutes.
A South Korean company has developed a rapid test kit to diagnose cases of coronavirus.PCL, the company which provides diagnostic products, named the tester COVID-19 Ag GICA Rapid.Kim So-yeon, the company’s chief executive officer, was quoted as saying that the kit was developed using antibodies from China.He said the test
Coverage of this news by other news/media outlets can be viewed here.
After reading the media reports, we decided to collect more information on the aforementioned test kit and in order to do so, we searched Google using the vaccine name and we found that the firm that has developed this alleged vaccine (as per claim) or test kit (as per media reports).
We found that the viral image is of the test kit developed by a Korean firm namely ‘Sugentech, Inc.’.
We then matched the description of the aforementioned test kit with that of the viral image that is being claimed to be a vaccine and we found that the two are the same.
The test kit namely ‘COVID-19 IgM/IgG’ is claimed to be a ‘kit for the qualitative test of COVID-19 antibody by immunochromatography’ by the manufacturer.
The description of the product as claimed by the manufacturer reads, “SGTi-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG is a gold nanoparticle-based immunochromatographic test kit for qualitative determination of COVID-19’s IgM and IgG antibodies in human whole blood (finger prick or venous), serum or plasma. The kits are accurate and easy to use and results can be observed with the naked eye within 10 minutes. The test detects the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood of those who are tested after infection. The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to COVID-19, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic. Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms. As there is no medicine or vaccine, the best way to combat this infection is isolation. A lot of people don’t have symptoms. Because of that, quick diagnostics are very important. SGTi-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG enables to help for the community to identify infection and isolate people without symptoms but suspected COVID-19.”
It is evident from our findings above that the viral image doesn’t represent any vaccine but a test kit that claims to diagnose Covid19 in 10-15 minutes.
Now, we tried to verify the other information mentioned in the viral forward which claims that the US has discovered a vaccine that can cure Covid19 in 30 minutes and as per President Trump’s announcement the same will be launched next Sunday. First of all, we checked the World Health Organization’s official website and as we have mentioned in our previous fact-checks, the WHO clearly denies the existence of any such vaccine that can cure Covid19.
We also checked media reports on the claim that the US has discovered a vaccine that can cure Covid19 in 3 hours but we didn’t find any mention of any such vaccine.
As per the viral forward, US President Donald Trump has announced that the vaccine will be launched next Sunday, we checked President Trump’s Twitter handle, Facebook Page and Instagram profile but we didn’t find any such announcement by the US president.
Hence it is imperative from the findings presented above that the viral claim is ‘False’ and the image being forwarded is an image of a Covid19 test kit and not of any vaccine that can cure the virus.
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