Daily Express Apologises for Publishing False Claims About Russia Stealing AstraZeneca Jab Formula
© Sputnik / Vitaly BelousovA medic prepares a dose of Russian Gam-COVID-VAK (trademark "Sputnik V") coronavirus vaccine in the shopping mall "Gostiny Dvor", in Tula, Russia.
© Sputnik / Vitaly Belousov/
Another British tabloid, The Sun, the first to publish a notorious fake "exclusive", continues to peddle allegations that Moscow is trying to steal commercial secrets from the UK, including the vaccine formula.
The Daily Express, a British tabloid, issued a correction to an 11 October article, which falsely claimed that "Russia [...] copied the formula of the AstraZeneca jab and used it to help make its own vaccine". The media outlet called the material published in the article false, noting that the information about the group that created the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology, is publicly known.
The British tabloid apologised for the publication of the false theft claim and sought to "set the record straight" by publishing the official response of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the Sputnik V development.
"Sputnik V is based on a well-studied human adenoviral platform whose efficacy and safety have been proven over decades. Developers of Sputnik V, the Gamaleya Center, used the same human adenoviral platform for their earlier groundbreaking research over the years, including vaccines against Ebola in 2017 and MERS in 2019, to quickly develop Russia’s vaccine against COVID-19. In contrast, AstraZeneca uses chimpanzee adenoviral vector for its vaccine rather than the human vector used by Sputnik V".
The claims that a Russian spy stole an AstraZeneca vaccine formula to create Sputnik V – the world's first registered COVID-19 vaccine – were originally published by another British tabloid, The Sun.
The Kremlin rejected the claims as "unscientific", while the RDIF detailed why such statements are false. The Sun, however, has not yet retracted the article containing the false claim and, instead, published another falsity claiming that Russia not only copied the vaccine formula, but also routinely engages in stealing commercial secrets from the UK.