FALSE: Vaccine available, ‘no more coronavirus death’


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FALSE: Vaccine available, ‘no more coronavirus death’
There is no vaccine for the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, as of March 19, 2020

Claim: Facebook user Lea Andoy Lugo posted on Friday, March 13, that a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus has been found and there will be no more deaths due to the coronavirus.

In Bisaya, she wrote, “Thank you Lord, nakita na gyod nila ang tambal sa coronavirus…” (Thank you Lord, they’ve found medication for the coronavirus…)

She also posted an image of a bottle labeled “Coronavirus vaccine.” Above the image, the text reads, “NO MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATH: God bless Israelites. Finally they have discovered vaccine for coronaviruses. COVID-19.”

The image appears to be a screenshot of a forwarded message, as at the bottom, it says, “Please forward the message as much as you can. Kindly [circulate] this information in all groups…”

Lugo’s post has accumulated 36 reactions, two comments, and 245 shares as of posting.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: As of Friday morning, March 20, there is no vaccine or cure for the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus and there have been 217,510 cases and 9,020 deaths, across 157 countries. (READ MORE: What you need to know: Coronavirus cures, vaccines being tested)

The World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health (DOH), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say there is no vaccine or cure for the disease yet. 

Scientists are racing to develop a vaccine, but the earliest that a vaccine might be released in the market is late 2021.This is because there has been no successful vaccine against any member of the coronavirus family.

Vaccine development also takes time, as vaccines must go through rigorous pre-clinical and clinical tests before reviewed and manufactured.

Israel’s Institute for Biological Research is expected to make an announcement about their efforts to develop a vaccine. Their vaccine candidate, however, will still have to undergo pre-clinical and clinical testing.

A cure is also in the pipeline, the most promising being American biotechnology company Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir. Remdesivir was developed to treat other diseases but has shown promise in treating coronavirus patients in China.

In the meantime, the WHO, DOH, and CDC recommend frequent washing of hands and social distancing as protection from the disease. – Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com

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