Several unrelated images and a clipped video of US President Donald Trump thanking pharma company Roche are being shared together to misleadingly claim a vaccine against the deadly novel Coronavirus is ready.
The viral Whatsapp forward, features an image of the COVID-19 diagnostic kit manufactured by Korea, screenshots of old patents on the Coronaviruses family and an already debunked video of Trump addressing the press about a faster COVID-19 test.
The set of images and video are viral with the caption, "Great news! Carona virus vaccine ready. Able to cure patient 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 !!!"
The image of the diagnostic kit of COVID-19 is also individually viral with similar claims.
It is important to understand the distinction between the following terms - coronaviruses, novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2 or HCoV-19 and COVID-19.
Coronaviruses: A family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
The novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus strain called HCoV-19 and now more commonly SARS-CoV2.
COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus.
Scientists around the world are fast-tracking research to develop a vaccine. These projects are still in development stage. Human trials have begun for a few potential vaccines but their roll-out if successful, is only estimated to be by early 2021.
The viral message is misleading because the photo of the box with COVID-19 1gM/1gG on it is of a diagnostic test and not a vaccine. The screenshots of one patent is for a strain of coronavirus found in poultry (not humans) while the other screenshot is a patent for treatment of coronaviruses but not the current strain. The video featuring Donald Trump is also about Roche getting emergency approval for a coronavirus test and not a vaccine.
Image of COVID-19 test kit
The image showing a medical kit is originally a diagnostic kit that was developed by South Korea recently. The image shows a few small packets, a dropper, a page with a set of instructions and a box, all labelled as, "SGTi-Flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG". BOOM found that the images are of a test kit for the novel Coronavirus, produced by South Korean medical company Sugentech. According to reports, the tests can be carried out in 10 minutes. More on the test kit can be read here.
Korea finished developing the 10 minute Covid-19 diagnostic kit and is now ramping up production. They plan to export 300.000 test-kits per week - pic.twitter.com/DpJCph9RT7— Florian Witulski (@vaitor) March 21, 2020
Screenshots of Coronavirus patents
Two images claim that patents of vaccination against the Coronavirus was filed in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
The screenshot of the 2018 patent of the Pirbright Institute claims that a vaccine has been found to treat the novel Coronavirus infection. In a clarification, the Pirbright Institute stated that it carries research on infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) a coronavirus that infects poultry and pigs. That means it is a patent for treating the coronavirus infection in non-human species. The same was debunked by BOOM earlier.
An excerpt from the clarification reads of Pirbright Insititute's website reads, "Pirbright does not currently work with human coronaviruses. The Institute holds Patent no. 10130701 which covers the development of an attenuated (weakened) form of the coronavirus that could potentially be used as a vaccine to prevent respiratory diseases in birds and other animals. Many vaccines are made in this way, from flu to polio. We have not yet developed an IBV vaccine, but research is ongoing."
Patent by Ludwig Maximillians University
The screenshot of the second patent, by the Ludwig Maximillians University, Munich, was originally filed in May, 2015. The patent focuses on the larger family of Coronaviruses. An excerpt from the patent reads, "As used herein a "Cornonavirus infection" means an infection, including a patient being infected, with any Coronavirus virus including human coronavirus HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-229E, HCoV-HKU1, SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus), and CoV MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, previously called "EMC")."
This patent does not include treatment for - HCoV-19 or SARS-CoV2 the virus responsible for COVID-19. (Click here to read the patent)
BOOM has already reached out to Albrecht von Brunn, one of the patent applicants. The article will be updated if he responds.
Video of Trump thanking Roche Diagnostics president
An already debunked video of Matthew Sause, President and CEO, Roche Diagnostics (North America), thanking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, for providing emergency approval to roll out a diagnostic test for the virus is also a part of the viral message. BOOM was the first to fact check that the company was granted emergency approval to roll out a diagnostics test for the virus and not approval for a vaccine.
Claim Review : Coronavirus vaccine is ready, able to cure a patient within 3 hours
Claimed By : Facebook users
Fact Check : False