Healthcare/Biosafety

The troll, who spreads conspiracies over vaccines, steals Ukrainian cosmetologist’s identity

31 July, 2020

On July 24, the Facebook profile Mariam Mentesashvili published a post in the Facebook group “Let’s defeat the Coronavirus/COVID-19 together✌”. The post notes that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which issues permits on the use of drugs and vaccines, stated that the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine will be no more than 50%. In addition, the post also says that selling vaccines and vaccinating the population is in the interest of the U.S. Disease Chief, Dr. Fauci, since he owns shares in vaccine companies, while Bill Gates is a financer of the vaccine manufacturers. “Doctor T. Topuria” is indicated at the end of the post, from which we learn that the post belongs to homeopath Tina Topuria, who has published it on her personal page. 

As of July 31, Topuria’s post on her personal page and in the Facebook page “Let’s defeat the Coronavirus/COVID-19 together✌” has a total of 180 shares. In addition, on July 30, the post was shared by pro-Russian page “Stalin” with the description “Don’t get vaccinated, vaccine kills”.

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Tina Topuria’s post is manipulative and contains conspiracy. In fact, the FDA stated that a COVID-19 vaccine will only be approved if the vaccine effectiveness is at least 50%. As for the ownership of shares by Fauci, there is no evidence of that. Mariam Mentesashvili, who shared Topuria’s post in the group “Let’s defeat the Coronavirus/COVID-19 together✌”, is a fake Facebook account, that steals Ukrainian cosmetologist’s identity

  • According to the FDA, at least 50% effectiveness is required for a COVID-19 vaccine to be approved

The claim as if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the effectiveness of the vaccine will be no more than 50% is incorrect. The author of the post, Tina Topuria, has indicated the source, which also contradicts to the information published by her. In fact, at the June 30 Senate briefing, the FDA introduced new guidance with regulatory standards, based on which it will approve COVID-19 vaccines. The guidance notes that the vaccine must be at least 50% effective in reducing the risk of COVID-19. Otherwise, the FDA will not issue license to let it into the market. In order to obtain the license, a vaccine must undergo 3 phases of testing, including clinical trials, in order to evaluate its safety, effectiveness, and possible side effects. 

Top 5 vaccine manufacturer companies, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, and Pfizer, suggest that a limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year, while it will enter the market in 2021, if it meets the FDA’s requirements.

  • There is no evidence that Fauci owns shares in any of the companies producing the vaccine

Reports that the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Anthony Fauci has allegedly made an investment in COVID-19 vaccines and therefore supports vaccination, are not true. This information was also spread in April and was checked by the PolitFact. There is no proof of it and the Facebook administration labeled as fake news the post with similar information pointing to Fauci’s financial benefits. Along with Fauci, Bill Gates, who indirectly assists NIAID by funding the group, working together with NIAID on development of the Coronavirus vaccine, also became an object of conspiracies. The Gates Foundation has allocated USD 60 million to detect and diagnose the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is no evidence that Anthony Fauci received a financial benefit from this.  

About the sources 

Mariam Mentesashvili, who shared the post in the Facebook group “Let’s defeat the Coronavirus/COVID-19 together✌”, is a fake Facebook account that steals Ukrainian cosmetologist’s identity. Aleksandra Plakhtii is her real Facebook profile. The cosmetologist has her own tattoo and aesthetics salon in Kiev, where she does permanent make-up. There is her salon page on Facebook. She has an Instagram profile, where she publishes her works. Aleksandra can also be found in Russian social network VK.

The fake account has Aleksandra’s photos as a profile and cover photo, other photos on her profile are not publicly available.

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Aleksandra’s real Facebook account and her other photos

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As for the homeopath Tina Topuria, disinformation spread by her about vaccines has been checked by “Myth Detector” before.


Prepared by Maiko Ratiani