The British media, which spread fakes about the theft by Russian intelligence of the formulas of the AstraZeneca vaccine to create the Sputnik V drug, apologized. They also published the official comments of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which has invested in the creation of a domestic vaccine. This is reported in Telegram-channel Sputnik V.
Fake first reprint deleted the Daily Express tabloid. The newspaper later issued an apology. The staff of the publication admitted that they released false information. Followed by an article corrected and the authors of the original publication – The Sun newspaper, adding official RDIF comments to the material, refuting the allegations.
10 october The Sun published an article that Russian intelligence allegedly stole information about the composition of the vaccine, which was jointly developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and scientists at Oxford University. According to the tabloid, these formulas were allegedly used to create a Russian drug for the coronavirus “Sputnik V”.
The RDIF called the tabloid articles “fake and outrageous”, and also noted that the data published in the publication was based on anonymous sources. And the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said that the British tabloid The Sun is a deeply unscientific publication.
In turn, the former chief sanitary doctor of Russia Gennady Onishchenko noted that the journalists of The Sun, who wrote about the theft of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine formula, need to undergo a psychological examination. According to him, in such a case, the employees of the British foreign intelligence agency MI-6 would have to be fired for the loss of professional aptitude.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many different fakes have appeared on social networks about the origin of the coronavirus, its danger and the fight against the disease. They affected both the virus itself and the vaccines against it. The most popular fakes included the deliberate spread of the virus through testing and vaccination procedures and false statistics on the number of infections and deaths.
Roskomnadzor has frequently blocked advertisements for counterfeit coronavirus drugs and fraudulent websites offering information and passes to the public. And social networks, in particular Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, Facebook and Telegram, stated that they were monitoring and restricting access to obvious fakes.
Despite this, in the summer, experts noted an increase in the number of resources on which it was allegedly possible to buy a fake vaccination certificate, the presence of antibodies, as well as PCR tests. In particular, the attackers corresponded with customers in the messenger and placed “bookmarks” with fake vaccination certificates.
However, according to analysts, the scammers’ tactics later changed: they began to blackmail those who nevertheless acquired a fake certificate. They wrote to customers whose personal data was on the black market after an illegal purchase, that the doctor who issued the certificate was arrested, and offered to transfer 50 thousand rubles in order to delete the correspondence with the victim’s personal data from the doctor’s mail.
Those who voluntarily vaccinated against coronavirus did not escape fraud. According to VTB representatives, the scammers have come up with a scheme that allows them to steal money from the cards of Russians by offering bonuses for vaccinations.
As Anton Yatsenko, content analyst at Kaspersky Lab, explained, if a person clicks on a link in an advertisement promising money for the vaccination, he will be taken to a page where he is asked to enter his data and card number. This method allows attackers to gain access to victims’ funds
Fighting the wave of fakes was also offered in different ways. In July, Vladimir Petrov, a member of the Public Chamber of the Leningrad Region, proposed introducing responsibility for calling for the refusal of vaccinations for non-medical reasons. In a letter to the Minister of Justice, Konstantin Chuichenko, Petrov pointed out that “part of the society refuses to be vaccinated, propagating speculation about the“ harm ”of vaccines,” which, in his opinion, led to the emergence of a black market for the sale of vaccination certificates. Petrov expressed confidence that such acts should fall under the article of the Criminal Code.
At the same time, experts from the World Health Organization were of the opinion that opponents of vaccination against coronavirus could change their minds if the drug tests prove safety. They noted the already spreading unreliable data about the drugs undergoing trials, but they hoped that the fakes would not affect the positive attitude of the population towards the vaccine, as it would help return to the usual living conditions.