The Eastern Cape Health Department has labelled reports that provincial healthcare workers who received Covid-19 vaccines have been hospitalised as fake news.
Reports claimed that 59 healthcare workers were hospitalised but the department said this was further from the truth as only five health workers have been hospitalised after being vaccinated.
“Such misleading news reports cause unnecessary panic in a society where government is also dispelling conspiracy theories peddled by anti-vaxxers. Such fake news are creating alarm and should be condemned as they harm government’s vaccination programme,” it said in a statement on Saturday.
The report was published by News24, the provincial health department will be “demanding an apology.” The department says such reports feed on conspiracy theories and anti-vaxxers.
“…it is clear that the information published is a misinterpretation of the epidemiological data presented in the report.”
The department says it releases daily epidemiological reports to all stakeholders, including all media houses for the sake of transparency.
MEC Nomakhosazana Meth called for more responsible journalism.
“Vaccination is a sensitive matter as we are already dealing with people who manufacture and spread fake news about the vaccine.
“We have always been upfront that scientists have found that being vaccinated does not mean you will not contract Covid-19 but should you do, you are not likely to be hospitalised as people only have mild symptoms.”
Meth also clarified that of the 98 healthcare, only five have been hospitalised,” with most having fully recovered and discharged. As of July 16, only two health workers were yet to be discharged.”
The MEC said some health workers have succumbed to Covid-19 complications since the rollout of the vaccine in February. “But none of those had received the jab as they opted to use their democratic right of not being vaccinated for different reasons.
Department says the more people get the jab, the better they will be fully protected against the virus.
Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele