Russia has been accused of launching a campaign in a bid for discrediting the coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the scientists at Oxford University claiming that it is going to turn people into monkeys. Images and videos have got circulated on social media along with the bizarre claims regarding the vaccine. The jab that uses the chimpanzee virus is claimed to turn people into apes, as per the ridiculous information spread online.
The claims say that the vaccine developed in the UK is going to be dangerous, as reported by the Daily Mail. The false information was also telecasted on the TV program Vesti News of Russia. One doctored image showed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking in Downing Street as a Yeti and it was captioned, "I like my bigfoot vaccine."
Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine and Russia
It is believed that the campaign has been launched in nations where Russia has hopes of releasing its Sputnik V vaccine. Professor Pollard from the Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford told BBC Radio Four, "In this context, we are in at the moment, any misinformation, where we are trying to think of an intervention that we can have in the future to help the pandemic, whether they are treatments or vaccine, anything that undermines that could be extremely dangerous.
"The type vaccine we have is very very similar to a number of other vaccines, including the Russian vaccine, all of which use the Common Cold virus from humans or from chimpanzees. To our bodies, the viruses look the same. We don't actually have any chimpanzees involved at all in the process of making the vaccine, because it is all about the virus, rather than animals it might more commonly infect," the professor added as reported by the Daily Star.
He also mentioned that the human body does look from where the virus came from it just sees a collection of proteins for making an immune response. As per a whistleblower, the campaign is going to appear on Western websites. A spokesperson from the Russian Embassy said that the idea of Russia conducting propaganda against the AstraZeneca vaccine is not correct. The spokesperson mentioned that it is aimed at discrediting the efforts of Russia in fighting the pandemic.