SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Oct 15) that it is aware that certain local websites such as "Truth Warriors" have been posting unverified and potentially misleading information on COVID-19 and vaccines.
Among other claims, the Truth Warriors website says that the COVID-19 jab is not compulsory due to "a lack of long-term safety data on the vaccines".
In a Facebook post, the ministry reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Singapore have been assessed to be safe and effective by both the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination.
"The Truth Warriors website has also been carrying articles claiming that ivermectin is safe and effective in treating COVID-19, and that various other countries have been using the drug for early treatment of COVID-19 with high success rates," said MOH.
Ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in Singapore, according to the ministry.
"It is not an anti-viral medicine and is not approved by HSA for use in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
"To date, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to demonstrate that Ivermectin is effective against COVID-19," said MOH.
"Self-medicating with Ivermectin can be dangerous to one’s health, and there have been reports of patients requiring hospitalisation after doing so."
On Oct 3, Facebook user Vanessa Koh Wan Ling posted that her mother was hospitalised after taking ivermectin to protect herself from COVID-19 at the urging of her friends. In response to CNA's query on reported illegal sales and distribution of ivermectin in relation to the case, HSA said on Oct 8 that investigations were ongoing.
According to MOH, ivermectin's side effects can include vomiting, stomach pain, seizures, severe skin rash and liver injury.
"We strongly advise members of the public not to self-medicate with Ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of COVID-19," said the ministry.
"Please also avoid speculating and/or spreading misinformation which may cause public alarm, and to refer to credible sources of information instead."