A Covid-19 vaccine is not being administered via Covid-19 nasal swab tests

4 November 2020
What was claimed

The Covid-19 test is the vaccine and if you get tested you have been vaccinated.

Our verdict

This is not the case. Vaccines have to go through many rounds of testing before they can be rolled out, and none have got to this stage yet in the UK. You must consent to have a vaccine in the UK.

A post on Facebook has claimed that if you have been tested for Covid-19, you have been vaccinated, suggesting that a vaccine is being delivered via nasal swab tests. This is not the case.

The post uses genuine screenshots of several scientific papers from the years before the pandemic which talk about the potential effectiveness of nasal vaccinations.

But these papers discussing the possibility of how effective nasal vaccinations could be, both practically and from a public health point of view, does not prove that the swabs taken for many Covid-19 tests are in actual fact a vaccine.

Swabbing the nose is one way of getting a sample that can be tested to see whether the person currently has the virus which causes Covid-19. Tests can also be taken by swabbing the back of the throat. 

The swab itself is picking up material that may potentially contain the virus which can be identified by testing—it’s not depositing anything in the nose. 

In the UK, a vaccine cannot be given to someone without consent and none are mandatory. As we’ve written before, either the person getting the immunisation or someone with parental responsibility for them (depending on the person’s age and whether they are “Gillick competent”, so whether they can fully understand what the procedure involves) must consent for a immunisation to take place. 

Vaccines also have to go through multiple phases of trials to ensure they are both safe and effective, and although many potential vaccines are in development, none have been approved for use yet in the UK.

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 false because Covid-19 tests are not vaccines.

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