Has the UK approved forced mass aerosol vaccinations?

We came across an odd post on Twitter that claims that the UK government has approved a plan to force vaccinate its population through a chemical spray deployed from a military aircraft.

In support of its claim, the post relies on an update by the UK government, about the regulatory approval of a COVID-19 vaccine called SKYCovion.


What is SKYCovion

SKYCovion is a COVID-19 vaccine that is produced by SK bioscience, a South Korea-based company.

SKYCovion has recently been approved by UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), for use in England, Scotland, and Wales. The MHRA is an executive agency of the UK Department of Health and Social Care, responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK.

In an update released on 26 May 2023, the MHRA stated that the SKYCovion vaccine has been authorised as primary vaccination for those aged 18 and older. The vaccine, which is given as 2 injections, 4 weeks apart, “combines a part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein with an ‘adjuvant’ – an additional ingredient designed to trigger a stronger immune response”.

Image credit: SK bioscience


How is SKYCovion different from other COVID vaccines?

According to SK bioscience, SKYCovion can be stored between 2-8 degrees Celsius, whereas, mRNA vaccines may need to be stored at much lower temperatures to ensure its stability. Hence, SKYCovion is marketed to be apt for use in countries where storage facilities with very low temperatures might not be accessible.

Further, while other COVID vaccines use mRNA or an inactivated virus, SKYCovion uses proteins that form tiny particles that contain fragments of the coronavirus.


How is SKYCovion administered?

When we consulted SKYCovion’s product information, titled “Summary of Product Characteristics for COVID-19 Vaccine SKYCovion”, which contains explanations of how to use the vaccine, it states that “the vaccine is for intramuscular injection only, preferably in the deltoid muscle of the upper arm”.

In addition, the Patient Information Leaflet, which educates patients on receiving the vaccine safely, states that the “doctor, pharmacist or nurse will inject the vaccine into the muscle (usually in the upper arm)”.

There is no mention of the vaccine being administered as a spray through a military aircraft. We were also unable to find any other official releases on mass aerosol vaccinations in the UK, using SKYCovion.


Mass aerosol vaccinations – other similar claims

A similar claim, that the Australian government had given approval for a pharmaceutical company to forcibly vaccinate people by spraying a vaccine from a plane, had previously been debunked in a fact-check by the Australian Associated Press in 2022.

The fact-check clarified that while aerosol vaccines exist, they are taken by inhaling the vaccine nasally and not sprayed from a plane at cruising altitude.

The fact-check also cited Professor Michelle McIntosh, a drug delivery expert at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, who stated that using planes to administer aerosol vaccines was not practical. She added that it was crucial to ensure that patients receive the right dose of a vaccine, which cannot be guaranteed with an aerial sprinkle of a vaccine powder.

Therefore, we give the claim that the UK government has approved forced mass vaccinations to be delivered via a military aircraft, a false rating. The update by the UK MHRA, and product information on SKYCovion describes that the vaccine will be given in the form of injections.

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