Centre Warns Of Action Against Those Spreading Rumours About Coronavirus Vaccines
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India, 25 Jan 2021 11:03 AM GMT | Updated 25 Jan 2021 11:05 AM GMTcheck update history
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The letter reminded states of existing provisions under the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code, and urged them to "counter the spread of all such kind of false information... as well as promptly disseminate factual messages".
The government, in a letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, has said that legal action should be taken against those spreading "misleading rumours" about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the country, NDTV reported.
Calling out the "rumour-mongering, particularly by vested interests", the government said that both vaccines had been found to be "safe and immunogenic" and spreading lies could lead to "unwarranted doubts among people at large".
"There is, therefore, a need to check all such kinds unfounded scare-mongering relating to the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccines," the centre said in the letter.
The letter also reminded states of existing provisions under the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code, and urged them to "counter the spread of all such kind of false information... as well as promptly disseminate factual messages".
The coronavirus vaccination drive in the country began on January 16 after the government gave emergency use approval to two vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Covishield.
Both vaccines were declared "110 per cent safe" by VG Somani, the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India), who approved them for emergency use.
The decision to approve Covaxin triggered a row, with critics questioning the lack of data from the third and final phase of trials and the vaccine's efficacy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and several doctors from across the country have maintained that both vaccines are safe and effective.
Amid increasing debate over the safety of Covaxin and questions over its Phase III trial data, Bharat Biotech Chairman Dr Krisha Ella said that his company had an excellent track record.
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