Singapore Orders Corrections to Facebook Posts on Vaccine Risks
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s Ministry of Health has issued orders requiring correction to several Facebook posts and an article over what the government says are false or unsubstantiated claims about side effects from Covid-19 vaccines.
The directives were issued to opposition politician Goh Meng Seng and alternative news site Singapore Uncensored for alleging that vaccine side effects had caused or contributed to a doctor’s stroke and the death of an 81-year-old man. “These allegations are false. As of 14 April 2021, there is no credible evidence for an increased risk of heart attack or stroke with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccines which are currently approved and offered in Singapore” the ministry said in a statement.
The medical team caring for the doctor assessed that the healthcare professional’s condition was highly unlikely to be vaccine-related, the ministry said. Separately, the 81-year-old man’s cause of death was ischaemic heart disease, they added.
The correction orders, which are issued under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, require the parties to carry a correction notice alongside their original posts, the ministry said.
While Singapore has largely brought the pandemic under control after an initial outbreak last year, vaccinations are critical as it eyes broader reopening essential to the trade hub’s survival. The city-state plans to host the World Economic Forum later this year, and is exploring options such as vaccine certificates and digital health passports as ways to help restart travel.
Singapore has one of the best vaccination rates in Asia per capita, with nearly 20% of the local population having received their first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines, according to data compiled by Bloomberg’s global vaccine tracker. The Southeast Asian country plans to expand vaccines to under 45-year-olds from June and aims to have everyone vaccinated by the end of the year.
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