We do know that Covid-19 vaccines work

28 September 2021
What was claimed

A video of Bill Gates casts doubt on whether the Covid-19 vaccines work.

Our verdict

It doesn’t. Bill Gates was speaking in July 2020, before the results of the vaccine trials were known.

A real video of Bill Gates from July 2020 is being shared on Instagram in a post from 23 September 2021. The post misleadingly uses the video to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines may not work.

The original video comes from 22 July 2020, and shows Mr Gates giving an interview on US television, in which he says : “We don’t know if these vaccines will work.” This comment is also included as a headline on the Instagram post.

In July 2020, the first results of the phase three vaccine trials had not yet been published. At the time, therefore, it was true that we did not know whether the vaccines would work.

Since the video was made, however, the world has gathered extensive evidence that the vaccines authorised for use in the UK do work against Covid, both in terms of reducing the risk of serious illness or death and reducing transmission.

Mr Gates’s own foundation has been a significant donor in the effort to reduce the impact of Covid-19 around the world, including through vaccination.

Yet a caption with the video says: “And yet they are pushing to make them mandatory?” This suggests that the video gives a reason to think the vaccines won’t be useful now, in September 2021.

Another caption on the post sharing the video says: “Well 'apparently', they were not sure whether this so called medicine would work, but yet many places (including many people's work places) are making this mandatory. This has gotten way out of hand!”

Vaccination is required, or soon will be, in some jobs and places in the UK. However, this video of Mr Gates does not cast doubt on whether the vaccines work.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because Bill Gates was speaking in July 2020, before it was known that the Covid-19 vaccines work.

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