False claim: Bill Gates faces trial in India for testing vaccines on children

Posts on social media claim Bill Gates is facing a trial in India for allegedly testing vaccines on children illegally. This is misleading.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Some iterations of the claim, titled “Bill Gates Faces Trial in India for Illegally Testing Tribal Children with Vaccines”, can be seen here and here .

A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation confirmed to Reuters via email that the allegations in the claim are false. There is no pending lawsuit against Gates or his foundation in relation to this. The vaccine trial in question was not illegal, though it was later halted and has been the source of controversy in India.

The claims refer to a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine study conducted by the U.S. non-profit organization Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). The study, which was financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was cancelled in 2010 after local media reported the death of seven girls taking part ( here , here ).

The study was cancelled in 2010 following local media reports highlighting the death of seven girls taking part. Science Magazine reported that investigations carried out by a committee designated by the Indian Government later determined the deaths were unrelated to the vaccine demonstration:

“Five were evidently unrelated to the vaccine: One girl drowned in a quarry; another died from a snake bite; two committed suicide by ingesting pesticides; and one died from complications of malaria. The causes of death for the other two girls were less certain: one possibly from pyrexia, or high fever, and a second from a suspected cerebral hemorrhage.” ( here )

On August 29, 2013 the Indian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare reported the vaccination trial by PATH committed several irregularities, including a “gross violation of the consent and legal requirement of consent” ( see page 14 here ). After the report was released, PATH said they “strongly disagree with the findings, conclusions, and tone of the released report and its disregard of the evidence and facts.” ( here )

According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s website, they have been working in India for over a decade, with a focus on the country’s most vulnerable communities ( here ). As of May 18, 2020 the Foundation faces no charges in India and continues to work in the country.


False. Bill Gates is not facing trial in India for an illegal vaccination study.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  .