Another photo shows a monkey in a lab coat from AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the vaccine. Uncle Sam, the personification of the United States, is also depicted in another picture with the text ‘I want you to take the monkey vaccine’. The images have been seen on Russian TV.
With the campaign, Russia hopes to harm the vaccine from England. That vaccine is sold to countries where Russia wants to market its own vaccine, Sputnik V.
The chimpanzee was not chosen by chance. The Oxford vaccine consists of a harmless chimpanzee virus. All kinds of genetic tricks make the body think it is dealing with the real corona virus.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s president, told The Times: “It is independent experts and regulatory bodies who ultimately determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective before it is used. Misinformation poses a risk to public health. (…) I urge everyone to consult reliable sources of information, trust regulatory authorities and remember the tremendous benefits that vaccines and drugs continue to bring to us. ”
A spokesman for the Russian embassy has dismissed the claims as nonsense. “The suggestion that Russia would propagandize the AstraZeneca vaccine is in itself an example of misinformation. It is clearly intended to discredit Russia’s efforts to combat the pandemic, including the good cooperation we have built with the UK in this area. ”
In July, Russia already carried out cyber attacks on institutions that are investigating a drug against the corona virus. The state hackers probably wanted to steal information about the development of a corona vaccine, British, American and Canadian security agencies warned at the time. The University of Oxford also had to deal with this at the time.