Many of the materials published on the “Truth Warriors” website mislead people into thinking that COVID-19 vaccines are not effective in reducing transmission rates of COVID-19, and promote the safety and efficacy of ivermectin in preventing viral infections and treating COVID-19. These materials are from unverified and dubious sources, and individuals who heed the advice of “Truth Warriors” can endanger themselves and the people around them.
2. The Minister for Health has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue a Correction Direction to the “Truth Warriors” website for these falsehoods. The website is required to publish the correction notice at the top of each webpage containing the falsehoods.
3. The Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these falsehoods, and criminal investigations will be conducted.
Corrections and clarifications on falsehoods regarding COVID-19 on “Truth Warriors” website
4. In particular, the website has published false claims stating that:
i. The most vaccinated countries have the most cases and deaths per million population and the least vaccinated countries have the fewest cases and deaths per million population; and
ii. Vaccines do not prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
5. These claims are false. As of 23 October 2021, the weight of international evidence shows categorically that vaccines reduce COVID-19 infection, as well as serious illness and mortality rates from COVID-19 infection. The latest data does not support the claim that countries with the highest vaccination rates also have the highest cases/deaths per million population. While some countries with the lowest vaccination rates also have low reported COVID-19 deaths, this is likely due to poor record collection for both vaccinations and deaths.
6. While the vaccines do not completely stop viral transmission, vaccines do reduce the risk of transmission. Vaccinated persons are less likely to transmit the virus than unvaccinated persons. Furthermore, while the vaccine on its own does not kill the virus, it is false to suggest that the effect of the vaccine on the immune system does not lead to the killing of the virus. The vaccines cause the body to produce antibodies and immune cells that act against the virus and, in effect, kill it.
7. For facts of the case, please refer to the Factually article “Corrections and Clarifications regarding content about COVID-19 by “Truth Warriors” website at https://www.gov.sg/article/factually241021.
8. The website also claimed that ivermectin prevents COVID-19 infection, and that it is safe and effective in treating COVID-19, even for pregnant women. MOH and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) are aware that there are members of the public trying to import or use ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered in Singapore specifically for the treatment of parasitic worm infections. It is not an anti-viral medicine and is not approved by HSA for preventing or treating COVID-19.
9. Self-medicating with ivermectin can be dangerous to one’s health. Side-effects associated with ivermectin include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalisation, and liver injury (hepatitis). Ivermectin can also interact with other medications used, such as blood thinners.
10. HSA takes a serious view against those engaged in the illegal sale and supply of medicines, including ivermectin, and will take strong enforcement action against such persons. Anyone convicted of the illegal sale of these medicines faces a penalty fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to two years under the Health Products Act.
11. The website also shares user-collated and unverified data on suspected vaccine injuries in Singapore, citing the “SG Suspected Vaccine Injuries” Telegram chat as its source. We advise members of the public not to speculate and/or spread misinformation which may cause public alarm, and to refer to credible sources of information instead.
12. Please visit www.moh.gov.sg for the latest information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations. For vaccine SAE statistics, please refer to HSA and its Safety Updates published monthly. For information regarding ivermectin and consumer safety, please visit www.hsa.gov.sg.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
24 OCTOBER 2021