Mumbai: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written to the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs on the issue of “unfounded and misleading rumours” on social media about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Urging the officials to check the “rumour-mongering”, Bhalla said, “Penal action may be taken against person/s or organisation/s found to have indulged in such activities.”
In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also emphasized that the National Regulatory Authority in the country has found that two vaccines – Covishield, developed by the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin, developed. And manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited – were safe and immune.
The Central Government, in collaboration with the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, has started the vaccination campaign of COVID-19 vaccination with two vaccines from January 16 across the country.
The Union Home Secretary stated that health experts and frontline staff are being vaccinated for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) as per the priority set by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration, and subsequently priority groups 2 and 3 are vaccinated.
He said, “I would like to emphasize that the National Regulatory Authority in the country has found both the vaccines safe and protective. However, it has been reported that unfounded and misleading rumours are circulating on social and other media, raising doubts about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines.”
“Spreading such a rumour, especially by vested interests, can cause undue suspicion among the public at large, and therefore, requires all kinds of unfounded frighteningly deceptive investigations concerning the safety and immunity of vaccines, communication.”
Urging the States and Union Territories to make a suitable arrangement to check