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MOH makes police report against Healing the Divide group over plans to 'disrupt operations' at COVID-19 paediatric vaccination centres

MOH makes police report against Healing the Divide group over plans to 'disrupt operations' at COVID-19 paediatric vaccination centres

A screengrab of Iris Koh's YouTube channel on Nov 7, 2021.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Wednesday (Jan 5) that it has made a police report against a group called Healing the Divide, founded by a Ms Iris Koh.

The ministry said that it was aware that the group "has exhorted parents through a message on their Telegram channel on Dec 27 2021, to visit the paediatric vaccination centres to overwhelm on-site medical staff with questions".

"Such an act will greatly disrupt operations at our paediatric vaccination centres, and amount to an instigation of harassment of the medical staff," said MOH in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

"It is a very serious matter, and MOH has therefore made a police report. We urge everyone to exercise social responsibility and not be misled by the promptings of the group, which has a history of sharing misleading information about COVID-19 and its vaccines."

The ministry highlighted that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and other regulatory authorities around the world have approved the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 5 to 11, after comprehensive clinical trials.

"This is no different from how other drugs have been approved for use," it said. 

"Designated paediatric vaccination centres have been set up islandwide to administer safe vaccinations for children."

Those with questions about the COVID-19 paediatric vaccination exercise can visit the Ministry of Education's website for more information, said MOH.

In November last year, anti-vaccination videos on a YouTube channel by Ms Koh were removed by YouTube.

On the channel, which had more than 2,000 subscribers as of Nov 7, Ms Koh introduced herself as a musician, songwriter and music director from Singapore. 

At the time, MOH described the Healing the Divide group as having adopted "an anti-vaccination stance and claims to warn people about the dangers of vaccination".

It added that the YouTube channel has "a history of posting and sharing content that perpetuates falsehoods and misleading information about COVID-19 and vaccines".

The ministry also said that the Government "takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these falsehoods and will not hesitate to take action against those who put the public’s health and well-being at risk by spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines".

MOH also responded to claims from Ms Koh in September last year when she claimed to know people who died after they took the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ms Koh also said "someone from hardware zone" had created a set of statistics showing the current death rates in Singapore, and called on authorities to "explain" the "sudden spike in death numbers".

The ministry said on Sep 4 that it was not in the interest of MOH or HSA to hide adverse events arising from COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Source: CNA/ic(ac)

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