Government Warns Of Action Against Those Spreading Rumours About Vaccines


Penal action should be taken against those spreading “unfounded and misleading rumours” about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the country, the centre has said in a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories.

Referring to “rumour-mongering, particularly by vested interests”, the centre said both Covid vaccines in use in India had been found to be “safe and immunogenic” and spreading rumours could cause “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.

The letter, written last week by the Union Home Secretary, 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 national coronavirus vaccination drive began January 16 after the centre gave emergency use approval to two vaccines – Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Covishield, which was developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and is being manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute.

Both vaccines were declared “110 per cent safe” by VG Somani, the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India), who approved them after the companies presented trial data to a panel of experts.

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