Social media users are sharing an image of what appears to be a Sky News article presenting vaccines as a solution to the climate crisis. But the photo is manipulated; the British broadcaster said it never published the story -- and there is no evidence any other news sites have, either.
"UK heatwave: Vaccines could be the way to battle the climate crises!" says a purported Sky News headline pictured in a July 18, 2022 Facebook post.
The text continues: "Getting your vaccine for the new Centurion strain could help battle climate change says 'national agent.'"
This screenshot taken July 28, 2022 shows a purported Sky News article shared on Facebook
The supposed article, which seemingly references a new Covid-19 variant monitored by the World Health Organisation (WHO), circulated on Facebook amid record-high temperatures in the United Kingdom. The extreme heat, breaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), caused transportation disruption and sparked wildfires.
But Sky News did not publish the article shared online.
"The statements in the screenshots attached did not originate, were not published, broadcast, or promoted on Sky News," said Sian Parry, the network's head of public relations. "This is a manipulated image."
AFP did not find any credible news outlets that published the text in the image -- nor did the social media posts include a link to the purported story.
The posts are part of a broader trend in which social media users share manipulated images that co-opt the names and logos of news outlets. AFP has previously debunked similar claims about CNN and the conflicts in Ukraine and Afghanistan.