On Dec. 15, a COVID-19 vaccine mandate went into effect for security forces in Italy. Now, social media users are sharing a video they claim shows a potential response to the measure.
“What are the odds?” reads the caption of a Dec. 17 Facebook post, which features a video of a burning building. “‘Italy: after the mandatory vaccination for all security forces is approved, the military warehouse where the vaccines were stored magically catches fire.'”
The post accumulated more than 1,900 views in five days. Similar claims on Twitter and Telegram gathered tens of thousands of additional interactions.
Fact check:COVID-19, election misinformation dominated social media in 2021
While the video shows a genuine fire, the building in flames was not storing COVID-19 vaccines.
USA TODAY reached out to the three social media users who shared the video for comment.
iNews24 published the clip in the Facebook post on Dec. 15. It doesn’t show a fire at a military warehouse.
The Italian news outlet reported the fire occurred at the Carabinieri police barracks in Tor di Quinto, Rome, according to a Google translation of the article. The building houses members of the national police force, which also has military duties.
On the same day as the fire, a vaccination mandate already in place for health care workers was extended to school staff and security forces. But there is no evidence the two events are connected.
While the exact cause of the fire is unclear, Italian news outlets reported it started in a “small heater” and then spread through a single building. Other independent fact-checking organizations have debunked the claim in the Facebook post.
Special access for subscribers! Click here to sign up for our fact-check text chat
USA TODAY reached out to the Carabinieri General Headquarters for comment.
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a video shows a fire at an Italian military warehouse storing COVID-19 vaccines. The fire broke out at a building in Rome that houses members of the Carabinieri police force. There’s no evidence it was related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort