Claim: Four claims about COVID-19 and vaccine conspiracies
Source: WhatsApp video
Verdict: Four claims are FALSE
Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu
A video clip, with portions of it being an audio recording of an interview, is circulating on WhatsApp and peddling several COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories and misinformation.
Tagged as “Forwarded many times” on WhatsApp, some anti-vaxxers speaking in an indigenous Ghanaian Language-Twi, captured on the audio-visual material claimed COVID-19 vaccines were produced with the sole aim of destroying Africans.
This fact-check report sought to verify four claims made in the 18 minutes and 58 seconds long video.
“A nurse (Tiffany Dover) collapsed and died 3 minutes after taking the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Tennessee.”
Tiffany Dover did faint after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as seen in the video being shared on WhatsApp, and in this video by local news outlets WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 ( here ).
However, the claim that she died is FALSE.
After recovering, she told WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9 ( here ), “It just hit me all of a sudden, I could feel it coming on. I felt a little disoriented, but I feel fine now.”
Reuters Fact check debunked the same claim ( here ).
The claim is FALSE.
“COVID-19 is not Coronavirus disease release in the year 2019. It is called Certification of Vaccination Identity and the 19 stands for Artificial AI Intelligence.”
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus (CoV) named SARS-CoV-2. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.
WHO announced “COVID-19” as the name of this new disease on 11 February 2020, following guidelines previously developed with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
WHO and ICTV were in communication about the naming of both the virus and the disease.
The WHO first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, following a report of a cluster of cases of viral pneumonia in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
As of April 23, 2021, there are more than 144 million confirmed coronavirus cases globally, including more than 3 million deaths, the WHO coronavirus dashboard shows. More than 889 million coronavirus vaccine doses have also been administered around the world.
The claim is rated FALSE.
“COVID-19 vaccines contain elements meant for family planning.”
A similar claim which says COVID-19 vaccines could cause infertility was fact-checked and rated FALSE by GhanaFact.
According to the WHO Director of the Department of Immunisation, Vaccines, and Biologicals, Dr. Katherine O’Brien, “the vaccines we give cannot cause infertility. This is a rumour that has gone around about many different vaccines and there is no truth to the rumour. There is no vaccine that causes infertility.”
“The fact is that there is no correlation between the vaccine and fertility”, the Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Serebour told GhanaFact.
The claim that COVID-19 vaccines contain elements meant for family planning is FALSE.
“They have introduced a new strain of the virus that spread faster. It has been introduced in California and London. It is mainly targeted at Africans.”
B.1.1.7 is the variant first seen in the United Kingdom while B.1.351 the variant first seen in South Africa and P.1 is the variant first seen in Brazil.
Also, an article published on February 12, 2021, by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease and Research and Policy CIDRAP, said a new SARS-CoV-2 variant, CAL.20C, had been detected in southern California amid a surge in local infections and is spreading through and beyond the United States.
So, it’s completely normal for viruses to mutate.
The claims that new variants of the COVID-19 virus were introduced and targeted at Africans are FALSE.