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President Trump Has Not Announced A New Vaccine!

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America’s President, Donald Trump, has announced a vaccine for COVID-19 – Facebook User

The President of America, Donald Trump, has not announced the launch of a covid-19 vaccine. The photo attached to the text is not a vaccine, but a COVID-19 test kit manufactured by Sugentech in South Korea. There is no known vaccine yet for the COVID-19 virus.

Full text: 

The novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, has necessitated the search for a vaccine by scientists all over the world. In the meantime, there has been a myriad of information circulating, asserting the discovery of vaccines for the virus. Among them is a Facebook post on 25 March 2020, which stated that scientists in America had discovered a vaccine that was able to ‘cure’ a coronavirus patient within 3 hours after injection.

The post generated 38 interactions, 22 comments and 54 shares. While some user comments showed an appreciation for the discovery, other user comments interrogated how a vaccine ‘cures’ the virus instead of preventing the virus. 

The post read: 

Good News from President Trump of America*
A COVID-19 Vaccine made by America now ready. Able to cure a corona virus patient within 3 hours after injection.
Kudos to USA Scientists.
Right now president Trump has announced that Roche Medical Company will launch the vaccine next Sunday, and millions of doses are ready for distribution to other part of the world.
Congratulations to the world over this success news…

The post also included the photo below:

C:\Users\Maxine Gloria\Downloads\90595118_2794545770663278_6828803954017566720_n.jpg

Verification: 

Dubawa ran a Google reverse image search on the photo. We found that photo purported to be a vaccine is a COVID-19 test kit with a full name ‘SGTI-flex COVID-19 IgM/IgG’. Additionally, the search showed that contrary to the claim, the COVID-19 IgM/IgG test kit is not a product of Roche Diagnostics. The test kit was manufactured by Sugentech Inc., a company in South Korea that develops in-vitro diagnostic systems and products based on BT-IT-NT convergence technology. 

Verifying from Sugentech’s website, Dubawa found the description of the COVID-19 IgM/IgG as “a kit for the qualitative test of COVID-19 antibody by immunochromatography’’. The website further advised that “as there is no medicine or vaccine, the best way to combat this infection is isolation”. 

Did President Trump Announce A New Vaccine?

Dubawa also investigated the claim that President Trump has announced that Roche Diagnostics was to launch the ‘vaccine’ on Sunday and that millions of doses were ready to be distributed to other parts of the world.

The claim was traced to be associated with a viral video of the CEO of Roche Diagnostics, Matt Sause. In the video, Mr Sause was seen showing appreciation for the approval of new tests kits for the virus. Dubawa found that the video is an extract from an hour-long news conference held by President Trump at the White House on 13 March 2020.

In his address, President Trump commended Roche Diagnostics for their work, as they had been given an unusually quick approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new tests for the virus, and not for vaccines as purported. 

“We, therefore, expect up to half a million additional tests available early next week. We’ll be announcing location probably on Sunday night,” President Trump said at the press conference (06:40 -7:26 of the video).

The World Health Organisation has stated that there is no known vaccine for COVID-19 yet. However, possible vaccines are still under investigation.

During the verification process, Dubawa also identified that the claim has popped up in other parts of the world and has been debunked by fact-checkers.  

Conclusion

The President of America, Donald Trump has not announced the launch of a vaccine. He announced the availability of new tests by Roche Diagnostics. Furthermore, the photo attached to the text is not a vaccine. It is a picture of a test kit for COVID-19 manufactured by Sugentech in South Korea. There is no known vaccine yet for the COVID-19 virus.

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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