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Fact check: UK deaths linked to COVID-19 did not stop in June

A video being shared on social media makes the false claims that deaths linked to COVID-19 have stopped, the vaccine will be untested and that it will modify your DNA.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Shared 1,900 times on Facebook, the live video (here) shows a man speaking outside the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, UK.

The man makes multiple claims in the nearly one hour-long video, a selection of which will be covered in this fact check.

CLAIM 1 – COVID-19 DEATHS CEASED IN JUNE

Speaking into a microphone, the man questions the “mad urgency” to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 because deaths from the disease allegedly “ceased back in June” (timecode 0:55).

However, this is not true. On June 1, the UK had recorded 38,263 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test (here). By Nov. 29 this had risen to 58,443.

CLAIM 2 – THE VACCINE WILL BE RUSHED AND UNTESTED

Immediately after this, the man questions why pharmaceutical companies and governments are “rushing out a vaccine that hasn’t even been tested properly”.

While there has been an unprecedented global effort to find a vaccine to mitigate devastating impact the pandemic has had on society, this does not mean the vaccine will not be properly tested.

In a previous Reuters fact check, the MHRA, which is an executive agency of the UK government’s Department of Health and Social Care, confirmed that any vaccine that is distributed will go through the necessary safety checks (here).

“Based on the available published reports from the clinical trials, we don’t currently anticipate any specific safety concerns with COVID-19 vaccines. We expect the general safety profile to be similar to other types of vaccines.”, the agency told Reuters at the time.

“A COVID-19 vaccine will only be deployed once it has been proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use.”

CLAIM 3 – THE VACCINE WILL CHANGE YOUR DNA

The man goes on to claim that the COVID-19 vaccine will alter a person’s DNA. “It’s transhumanism, you’ll no longer be regarded as a human being”, he claims (time code 3:55).

As a previous Reuters fact check explains, the vaccine will not genetically modify human DNA (here).

VERDICT

False. Deaths from COVID-19 did not cease in June. Any vaccine that is approved for distribution will have gone through the necessary clinical trials. The COVID-19 vaccine does not have the ability to alter a person’s DNA.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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