March 11, 2021

Does Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine Twitter Account Offer Promise or Propaganda?

Man receives vaccine in right arm

With Sputnik 1 — the world’s first satellite launched into Earth’s orbit — the then-Soviet Union captured the world’s attention and ignited the space race among developed nations. Now, there’s another Sputnik … Sputnik V, and once again, Russia is making news. This time, however, it’s about a COVID-19 vaccine and a blue checkmark on Twitter.

Sputnik V is Russia’s vaccine against the coronavirus. But rather than joining forces with makers of other vaccines to stamp out COVID-19 and its variants, the country is using its recently Twitter-verified status to sow doubt in the other vaccines’ effectiveness via social media. And although Russia is focusing on a European market, their approach has drawn the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which is tracking the country’s attempts to undermine trust in vaccines produced by its competitors.

To learn more about Sputnik V and find out what some pharma industry leaders — including Intouch EVP Wendy Blackburn, and Justin Chase, head of innovation and media for Intouch — think about the Russian social media strategy, check out this piece from Fierce Pharma.