TEHRAN — Twitter has hidden a post on the account of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on a coronavirus vaccine conspiracy theory.
The tweet from the account of Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in Iran, claimed that COVID-19 vaccines imported from the U.S. or U.K. were “completely untrustworthy.”
“It’s not unlikely they would want to contaminate other nations,” the tweet said, in reference to America and Britain.
The tweet also claimed that French coronavirus vaccines “aren’t trustworthy.”
A tweet on the leader’s Farsi-language account that appeared to make similar claims was still visible.
On Friday, Khamenei announced a ban on importing American and British vaccines. Iran’s Red Crescent said it will not import scores of thousands of American Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that a group of U.S.-based benefactors planned to donate to Iran.
However, Khamenei has OK'd vaccine imports from other “safe” places abroad.
Iran in December began the human test phase of its homemade vaccine that it is expected to distribute in the spring.
Iran has struggled to stem the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East, which has infected over 1.2 million people and killed more than 56,000.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.