Fact check: Video makes several misleading claims over COVID-19 vaccine development

A live Facebook video commenting on developments in the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine contains various misleading and false claims about vaccine trials and plans to deliver it to the population.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The video was broadcast on Nov. 9 (here) from the ‘We Are Vaxxed’ Facebook page. Responding to recent news that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine tests had been 90% effective, the presenter says: “is not 90% effective in any trial”, without presenting any evidence to support this assertion.

Pfizer released a statement on Nov. 9 to say interim analysis from its Phase 3 study of its potential vaccine showed it was more than 90% effective against COVID-19. These are interim results, and the pharmaceutical company has said it will be continuing its trial to harvest a full data set (here) .

The narrator of the Facebook video goes on to say: “We know that people have been dying from these so-called safety studies. We know there has been massive problems. There is nothing – I repeat – nothing about this vaccine that is safe at all.” This is not true.

In October, Brazilian health authority Anvisa said that a volunteer in a clinical trial of a different COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue (here) . At the time a source familiar with the matter told Reuters the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis jab. On Nov. 10, a trial for China’s Sinovac vaccine was also halted after a volunteer died. The state government of Sao Paulo, where the trial was run, said the death had been registered as a suicide and was being investigated (here) .

As reported by Reuters (here) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it will not approve a vaccine unless it is both effective and safe. Meanwhile Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said it would not compromise on safety when it comes to deciding whether or not to approve a COVID-19 vaccine here .

Later in the Facebook video, the presenter shows the webpage for the United Nations agency UNICEF, highlighting a line on the page that says it procures 2 billion vaccines annually – many of which come from GAVI, the global health partnership founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “So basically it has killed 2 billion people or brain damaged two people around the world,” the user tells her audience. This false assertion is not supported by any evidence. To the contrary, Unicef reports that vaccination saves 2 to 3 million children each year from deadly childhood diseases like measles, diarrhoea and pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. explains why immunization is necessary for global health security here .

The Facebook live video moves on to the website for GAVI and presents a diagram of the organisation’s partners, including the founding foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, The World Bank, and more (here) . “This is the new world order,” the narrator says. “This is the Great Reset.”

Theories around the “Great Reset” have repeatedly surfaced (here) since the World Economic Forum pitched the idea of a “great reset” on capitalism in June (here). This came as a result of experts noticing that the pandemic had increased inequality around the world. The proposal encourages three components, including asking governments to improve fiscal policy, implement overdue reforms (such as on wealth taxes), and pushing for the efforts that have boosted health sectors this year to be replicated across other sectors to bring about an industrial revolution. It does not encourage a totalitarian new world order related to vaccinations.


False. The claims in this video around vaccine effectiveness and safety are not supported by evidence. The idea of a “great reset” was pitched earlier this year by the World Economic Forum as a way to shrink inequality caused by the pandemic. It is not a global plan for a new world order.

Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .