The Wall Street Journal quoted an official from the global engagement center of the US State Department as saying that four online publications associated with Russian intelligence agencies have been disseminating false or misleading information about the new vaccine. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the four websites, new Eastern outlook, Oriental review, news front and rebel inside, highlighted the side effects of Pfizer's new crown vaccine and other vaccines from western pharmaceutical companies, and raised concerns about whether the vaccine was effective or had passed the U.S. approval process in a hurry.
The sites don't have a large audience, but officials say their false stories are often found and spread by international media. They usually focus on real news reports about rare side effects of vaccines, but fail to provide accurate background to show that vaccines are safe for most people. "Russian intelligence is directly responsible for using these four platforms to spread propaganda and lies," a state Department spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.
The report also pointed out that in addition to activities to slander Western vaccines, Russian state media and twitter accounts related to the Russian government are also trying to enhance the image of Russia's "satellite V" vaccine.
A Kremlin spokesman denied the charges to the Wall Street Journal.
Russia announced in November that its "satellite V" new crown vaccine has 90% efficacy, but critics say the scale of clinical trials of the vaccine in patients is too small. However, the lancet, a British Medical Journal, reported last month that a larger test found the satellite V vaccine to be safe and 91% effective. According to the associated press, as of the end of February, only 4 million people in Russia - about 3% of the population - had been vaccinated.