Phaahla: Law enforcement needs to focus on vaccine fake news spreaders

He said anti-vaxxer messaging goes against the state of disaster regulations and those responsible could face being charged.

Minister of Health Joe Phaahla. Picture: @HealthZA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said law enforcement agencies needed to start focusing on those spreading fake news about the use of vaccines.

He said anti-vaxxer messaging went against the state of disaster regulations and those responsible could face charges.

Phaahla was on Tuesday briefing the National Council of Province’s about the country's vaccination programme.

The minister said some of the damaging fake news included those saying vaccines would kill those who took it after two years.

He said even healthcare workers were part of this organised fake news campaign against vaccines.

“There’s a very strong and fairly orchestrated, organised fake news campaign to discredit the vaccination and unfortunately, we have found it to be some people who are health professionals who are also part of this.”

Phaahla said it was high time that law enforcement agencies looked into these fake news.

“In the regulations, there is clearly provision, which says circulating fake news is actually a criminal offence.”

Phaahla said the department was working with government communications to counter the spread of fake news. So far, 12 million doses have been administered to South Africans.

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