The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has debunked a trending claim on Facebook, which is now being shared on WhatsApp that the United States of America had developed a vaccine for COVID-19.
The CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, said on Tuesday in a statement that the post, which claims that the new vaccine is capable of curing the virus within three hours, has gone viral in Nigeria.
She said the viral report also has an attached image of medical supplies labelled COVID-19 1gM/ with further claims that President Donald Trump has announced that “Roche Medical Company” will launch the vaccine this Sunday, March 29, 2020.
According to her, the CDD fact-checkers reviewed the message to know its authenticity and that their review which includes searching for Covid-19 IgM/IgG online shows it is a testing kit for COVID-19 and not a vaccine.
“CDD’s fact-checkers also discovered the kit was developed by a South Korean firm, Sugentech and has nothing to do with Roche Medical Company. A review of the Sugentech official website shows it has Covid-19 IgM/IgG listed as parts of its products.
“While various institutions and countries are developing possible vaccines according to different news reports, none has been announced for use. The Guardian reports that About 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create such a vaccine, at least four of which already have candidates they have been testing in animals,” Hassan said.
She said that the World Health Organization (WHO) said that before any vaccine is approved for use, it must have been rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials and its use subsequently monitored to ensure it is safe and effective.
She said: “The claim that US scientists and life-science company, Roche Medical, have found a vaccine for COVID-19 ready to be launched next Sunday March 29, 2020 is false. No vaccine, drug or therapy have been approved for COVID-19 treatment yet.”