Pofma orders issued to Goh Meng Seng, Singapore Uncensored
Politician and alternative news website publish correction notices to falsehoods on Covid-19 vaccination
The Health Minister has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue correction directions against opposition politician Goh Meng Seng and alternative news website Singapore Uncensored over false statements linking Covid-19 vaccination to stroke and heart attack.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said this in a statement yesterday and added that there are "third parties who have exploited the sharing of personal experiences by individuals, by reposting these personal accounts and making unsubstantiated claims about vaccine-related adverse reactions. They often continue to do so despite the original posts being removed or made private".
They include posts published on April 7 about the death of an 81-year-old man.
An article published on the Singapore Uncensored website and shared on its Facebook page alleged that an 81-year-old man had died from vaccination complications, while Facebook posts on the pages Goh Meng Seng (Satu Singapura) and Goh Meng Seng People's Power Party implied that the vaccination had caused or substantially contributed to his death.
MOH said these allegations were false, and the cause of the man's death was ischaemic heart disease, which is the lack of blood circulation to the heart muscles.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) Forensic Medicine Division had reported that based on the post-mortem, there was no evidence of acute anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction at the injection site of the vaccine.
Instead, there was extensive narrowing of the three main blood vessels supplying blood to the muscles of the heart from build up of plaque over time in the blood vessels that obstruct blood flow.
Posts on the Facebook pages Goh Meng Seng (Satu Singapura) and Goh Meng Seng People's Power Party published on April 2 were also deemed to contain falsehoods. They implied that vaccination had caused or substantially contributed to a stroke suffered by a doctor.
MOH said: "These allegations are false. As of April 14, 2021, there is no credible evidence for an increased risk of heart attack or stroke with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, which are currently approved and offered in Singapore."
MOH said that the medical team caring for the doctor assessed it was highly unlikely to be related and that Mount Elizabeth Hospital had issued a clarification on April 4.
Both Mr Goh and Singapore Uncensored have complied with the correction directions and published correction notices yesterday.
MOH added that medical teams are well-equipped and measures are in place at all vaccination sites to ensure the safety of vaccine recipients pre-, during and post-vaccination.
"All vaccine-related incidents are taken seriously and healthcare professionals are required to report these incidents expediently to the MOH and HSA," it said and advised members of the public not to speculate and spread unfounded rumours.