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MOH files police report against anti-Covid-19-vaccine group over calls to disrupt paediatric vaccination centres

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has filed a police report against an anti-vaccine group after it allegedly told parents to overwhelm medical staff members at paediatric vaccination centres with questions. 

MOH files police report against anti-Covid-19-vaccine group over calls to disrupt paediatric vaccination centres

The Ministry of Health said that the group Healing The Divide, which has a Telegram channel, has a history of sharing misleading information about Covid-19 and its vaccines.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has filed a police report against an anti-vaccine group after it allegedly told parents to overwhelm medical staff members at paediatric vaccination centres with questions. 

MOH said on Wednesday (Jan 5) that the group Healing The Divide, founded by Ms Iris Koh, had urged parents to do this through its Telegram channel on Dec 27 last year, the first day of the vaccination drive for children aged nine to 11. 

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

As it is a "very serious matter", MOH said that it had 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." 

Checks by TODAY on the Healing the Divide channel on Telegram showed that on Dec 27, a call was made by the channel administrator to parents to book vaccination slots for their children and "ask to see a doctor" to pose questions about the vaccine.

There was also a link to a form for parents to submit the answers given by the doctors, along with a list of questions that they may ask. 

When contacted by TODAY, Ms Koh said that she has also filed a police report against MOH for making a “fraudulent police report”.

She provided TODAY a copy of the report in which she rejected MOH's claim and included the text of her message to parents in the chat group.

Here's the full text of the message: 

A screenshot of the message to parents from the Healing The Divide chat group on Telegram.

This is not the first time that Ms Koh and her anti-vaccine group have been in the news. 

In November last year, Ms Koh and her husband Raymond Ng were under a police probe for their alleged involvement in instigating others to call and overwhelm phone lines that help the public with Covid-19 matters.

The police said then that the duo had allegedly incited more than 2,000 members of the Telegram group to overwhelm public hotlines by giving their feedback on stricter Covid-19 regulations that apply to unvaccinated persons in public places.

MOH said on Wednesday that the Health Sciences Authority and other regulatory authorities around the world have approved the Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty vaccine for use in children between the ages of five and 11 after comprehensive clinical trials.

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

The second tranche of vaccine registrations for younger pupils in Primary 1 to 3 started on Wednesday, with phone text message invitations sent to parents and guardians of these students in primary schools and madrasahs, or Muslim religious schools. 

Vaccination slots will be released progressively for children aged five to eight from Thursday. 

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine Iris Koh Healing The Divide MOH police

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