We received the above image on our Whatsapp verification number to fact check the said claim. As shown in the image, the Facebook account Kashmir independent news network shared the claim on 17 August.
This claim was also shared on Facebook by the accounts Newsbank and INFOBUG on 17 August.
Fact Check/ Verification
A relevant keyword search on Google led us to a 14 August article on the website The Fauxy. This article included the entire message as well as images from the claim.
Here it’s important to note that the website’s footnote clearly states that Fauxy is a satire web portal. The disclaimer on the website reads, “The Fauxy is a Satire Web Portal. The content of this website is a work of fiction. Readers are advised not to confuse the articles of The Fauxy as genuine and true.”
As for the content of the claim, there is no credible evidence which suggests that Russia is gifting Pakistan one million COVID vaccines. Nor has the WHO called this “Human Trial Phase 3.”
What we know is this claim began circulating on Whatsapp and Facebook after President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had become the first country worldwide to register a COVID-19 vaccine within two months of human testing, earlier this month. Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, was developed by the Russian Defense Ministry and Gamaleya Research Institute.
Though scientists have shown concern over the vaccine being offered before the final stage testing (Phase 3 trials) is completed, Russian officials have said that large-scale production of the vaccine is set to start in September. While the vaccine will first be offered to medical workers and other high-risk groups, mass vaccination may begin in October, reports Associated Press.
With regard to Pakistan, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved Phase 3 trials of a COVID-19 vaccine being developed in collaboration with CanSinoBio and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China, according to Times of India.
The claim on Russia gifting Pakistan one million COVID vaccines and the WHO calling this a human trial phase 3 is false. We found the initial claim to be published on a satirical website, The Fauxy.
Associated Press: https://apnews.com/fcda62ad992db414d65f23b2adb78e44