According to a State Department Spokesperson, three online publications are recently identified in the United States that seek to undermine the COVID-19 vaccines, especially those produced by Pfizer and Moderna. According to the spokesperson, the publications were directed by the Russian intelligence services.
US Accuses Russia Backed Outlets Of Misinformation Against COVID-19 Vaccines
It was noticed that the outlets are spreading several misinformation regarding the two COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna. The information is limited to the COVID-19 vaccines and involves false information about international organizations, protests, political conflicts, and many divisive issues that can exploit.
The Wall Street Journal reported the campaign regarding misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna. However, a spokesperson for Kremlin denied the United States’ claims and said that no misinformation regarding the coronavirus vaccines is being spread or sent to the Wall Street Journal.
No immediate response or comments were received from the Russian embassy regarding this claim. Russia itself has developed a COVID-19 vaccine last year. The vaccine was approved in the country in August 2020, even before a large-scale trial of the vaccine. Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, was claimed to be the first vaccine for COVID-19 by any nation.
Later clinical trials of the vaccine suggested that Sputnik V is about 92% effective against the virus.
However, United States approved the very first vaccine in the country last year in December. Pfizer, headquartered in New York along with Germany’s BioNTech, are the developers of the vaccine. Later, a second vaccine against COVID-19 was developed in Massachusetts by the pharma giant Moderna. This also got approval towards the end of December 2020.
Now the misinformation revolving around the vaccines developed in collaboration with Pfizer and BioNTech and the second vaccine by Moderna are reportedly being spread by the Russian intelligence.
The Global Engagement sector of the State Department is set up to deal with such stuff related to propaganda and misinformation campaigns. According to the spokesperson, the organization has identified three such outlets. Russia’s security service is controlling the News Front as per the findings of the center. The center also found out that the Russian foreign intelligence service is directing and controlling the New Eastern Outlook and the Oriental Review.
The spokesperson for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center also identified a fourth outlet which is being controlled by the Russian army. However, the center found that the outlet is dormant for quite a few times.
The vaccines against the COVID-19 infection were authorized in the United States after careful considerations and successful initial phase trials. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been reported to be safe so far with mild side effects. The two-shot vaccines were found to be more than 90% efficient against the virus. Also, clinical trials have proved the safety of the two vaccines.
With mild side effects, the recipients of the vaccines around the world have reported no adverse or serious symptoms. Headaches, pain at the site of administration, mild fever, short-term skin allergy are some of the side effects.
People in America are now optimistic about the vaccines against the COVID-19 infection and enthusiastically receive the country’s vaccination drive. While many steps are recently being taken by some social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to tackle the misinformation issues regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, the identification of the outlets spreading false information about the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines is shocking, and it is important to take steps to make people aware of the vaccination drive and their importance in battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Center has also said to continue with their efforts in busting such outlets that are spreading the misinformation.