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In February 2022, shortly after news broke that Queen Elizabeth II had been diagnosed with COVID-19, a rumor started circulating that she had been prescribed ivermectin to treat the disease.
The Queen of England is not taking the antiparasitic drug to treat COVID-19.
This rumor stems from a news report on A Current Affair, a news program on Australia’s Nine Network, concerning the Queen’s health. While reporting on the Queen’s condition and treatment options, the network played some b-roll footage that showed a package of Stromectol, a brand name version of ivermectin, which accidentally insinuated that the Queen was using this drug. The network has since apologized and explained that the footage should have shown “Sotrovimab,” an approved COVID-19 medication, not Stromectol.
A video clip of this errant footage quickly went viral on Twitter, racking up millions of views as internet users claimed that the Queen was taking ivermectin.
Press pause at 0:19…..? pic.twitter.com/nuj9B4Dsfw
— Joost Broekers (@JoostBroekers) February 21, 2022
Shortly after this segment aired, A Current Affair published on an explanation on its website. The statement reads:
Last night our report on the Queen contained a shot that should not have been included. The shot was included as a result of human error.
We were highlighting an approved infusion medication called Sotrovimab and the report accidentally cut to a shot of Stromectol – a product which contains Ivermectin. […] We did not intend to suggest Dr Mukesh Hawikerwal endorsed Stromectol. We’ve apologised to him this morning and he has accepted that apology. We do not suggest the Queen is using Ivermectin.
Ivermectin was originally developed to treat parasitic worms. While some have pushed this drug as a treatment for COVID-19, it has not been approved by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for such a purpose. In August 2021, the MHRA stated that “Ivermectin is currently not approved in the UK for the prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19.”
The FDA adds:
The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing.
Butler, Josh. “Nine Network Apologises for ‘Error’ Suggesting Queen May Have Used Ivermectin to Treat Covid.” The Guardian, 22 Feb. 2022. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/feb/22/nine-network-apologises-after-accidentally-implying-queen-used-ivermectin-to-treat-covid.
Global Concerns for Queen Elizabeth II after Positive COVID-19 Result. //9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/coronavirus-queen-elizabeth-tests-positive-for-covid19/e1210108-2029-4297-af49-f6bd6be079b6. Accessed 22 Feb. 2022.
“Queen Cancels Virtual Engagements after Positive Covid Test.” NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/queen-elizabeth-cancels-engagements-positive-covid-test-rcna17135. Accessed 22 Feb. 2022.
Said-Moorhouse, Max Foster, Lauren. “Queen Cancels Virtual Engagements as She Is Still Experiencing Mild Covid Symptoms.” CNN, 22 Feb. 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/22/uk/queen-elizabeth-ii-covid-update-intl/index.html.