The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office on Thursday (15 Apr) issued correction directions (CD) to People’s Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng and alternative news portal Singapore Uncensored for their posts, which contain false statements suggesting “clear and causal links” between COVID-19 vaccines and conditions such as stroke and heart attack.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement today said that the POFMA Office was instructed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong to issue the CDs.
The offending posts are as follows:
- Facebook posts published on the Facebook pages of Goh Meng Seng (Satu Singapura) and Goh Meng Seng People’s Power Party on 2 Apr and 7 Apr; and
- an article by Singapore Uncensored published on their website and their Facebook page on 7 Apr.
The posts by Mr Goh, said MOH, had implied that COVID-19 vaccination had caused or substantially contributed to a stroke suffered by a doctor.
They also suggested that COVID-19 vaccination had caused or substantially contributed to the death of an 81-year-old man.
The article published on the Singapore Uncensored website on 7 April, which was subsequently shared on the Facebook page of Singapore Uncensored the same day, had also stated that an 81-year-old man had passed away from alleged vaccination complications.
Both parties subject to the CDs will be required to carry a correction notice alongside their posts.
“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 COVID-19 vaccines which are currently approved and offered in Singapore,” said MOH.
The medical team caring for the doctor has assessed that the doctor’s current condition is highly unlikely to be related to the COVID-19 vaccination, and Mount Elizabeth Hospital had issued a clarification on 4 Apr, said the Ministry.
As for the 81-year-old man’s death, MOH said that the man had passed away due to ischaemic heart disease, or a lack of blood circulation to the heart muscles.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) Forensic Medicine Division has reported that based on the post-mortem, there was no evidence of acute anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction at the injection site of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There was an extensive narrowing of the three main blood vessels supplying blood to the muscles of the heart due to atherosclerosis, or a build-up of plaques over time in the blood vessels that obstruct blood flow, said MOH.
MOH said that COVID-19 vaccines that are used in Singapore have been assessed to be safe and efficacious by both the HSA and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination.
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, the Ministry added.
All vaccine-related incidents are taken seriously and healthcare professionals are required to report these incidents expediently to the MOH and HSA, said MOH.
MOH reminded members of the public not to speculate and/or spread unfounded rumours, and to visit its website for the latest information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations.