Tags: russia | disinformation | safety | efficacy | pandemic | covid

Russian Disinformation Targets Vaccine Efficacy, Safety

Russian Disinformation Targets Vaccine Efficacy, Safety
Murziknata | Dreamstime.com

By    |   Sunday, 07 March 2021 12:58 PM

Russian disinformation is targeting confidence in Western coronavirus vaccines, according to a State Department Global Engagement Center official.

Russia intelligence services are connected to websites publishing false information on vaccines efficacy and safety, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"We can say these outlets are directly linked to Russian intelligence services," the official told the Journal. "They're all foreign-owned, based outside of the United States. They vary a lot in their reach, their tone, their audience, but they're all part of the Russian propaganda and disinformation ecosystem."

The fake news specifically targets Pfizer's vaccine, suggesting it was rushed through approval and might not be safe, attempting to promote vaccine hesitancy with the U.S-connected vaccines.

"The emphasis on denigrating Pfizer is likely due to its status as the first vaccine besides Sputnik V to see mass use, resulting in a greater potential threat to Sputnik's market dominance," an Alliance for Securing Democracy report suggests, per the Journal.

The allegations of disinformation fed by Russian intelligence was flatly denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, per the Journal.

"It's nonsense," he told the paper. "Russian special services have nothing to do with any criticism against vaccines.

"If we treat every negative publication against the Sputnik V vaccine as a result of efforts by American special services, then we will go crazy because we see it every day, every hour and in every Anglo-Saxon media."

Among the publications tied to disinformation are New Eastern Outlook, Oriental Review, News Front, and Rebel Inside, according to the report.

"Russian intelligence services bear direct responsibility for using these four platforms to spread propaganda and lies," a State Department spokesman told the Journal. "From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, we have seen Russia's disinformation ecosystem develop and spread false narratives around the crisis."

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Russian disinformation is targeting confidence in Western coronavirus vaccines, according to a State Department Global Engagement Center official.Russia intelligence services are connected to websites publishing false information on vaccines efficacy and safety,...
russia, disinformation, safety, efficacy, pandemic, covid
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2021-58-07
Sunday, 07 March 2021 12:58 PM
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