The Government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has today June 28, 2021 issued a statement on ­the issue with China’s COVID-19 Vaccine.

In the statement the ministry made mention of the publication made in both Newstime Africa and Standard Times Newspaper as deceptive and highly irresponsible.

They also asked News Agencies to report responsibly and members of the public to fact-check their sources and avoid spreading misinformation at this critical time in the fight against COVID-19.

The statement reads as follow:

Unsubstandated claims made about the Chinese-manufactured CoVID-19 vacine by two newspapers In Slera Leone

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation read with dismay the spurious claims made by theNewstime Africa and the Standard Times newspapers on the 24″ and 25 June respectively.

The two reports published by the aforementioned newspapers made baseless claims relatingto the recent unfortunate death of a healthcare worker, and without evidence or respect forthe current ongoing investigation, linked the death to a Chinese-manufactured COVID-19 Vaccine.

The reports made further unsubstantiated and inflammatory comments around theefficacy of the Chinese vaccine.

The Ministry of Heaith and Sanitation takes exception to these claims as they are deceptiveand highly iresponsible.t can be recalled that in the press release, dated 24 June, the Ministry of Health andSanitation made it abundantly clear that any medical event (including serious side-effects ordeath) following administration of any CoviD-19 vaccine will be systematically investigatedfollowing national and international vaccination protocols.

The goal of these investigations isto determine whether the vaccine caused the medical event, or not. It is highly inappropriateand iresponsible for national news agencies to publicly speculate on cause of death beforeinvestigations have been concluded by competent authorities.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of 24m June, 2021 also stated that available data showsthat the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled-out in Sierra Leone are safe and effective. Since theintroduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Sierra Leone on March 15th, over 108,000 doses havebeen administered across the country, with no serious incident associated with theadministration of the vaccines.

With COVID-19 cases increasing every day during this thirdwave of the pandemic, vaccines remain one of our biggest hopes for saving lives in ourcOuntry.

Any attempt to undermine public confidence in these vital components in our effortsto contain this outbreak would only go to prolong the suffering of our people.

We continue to be thankful to the Government and people of the Peoples Republic of Chinaand all our development partners for coming to our aid with these critical life saving vaccines.

Ourcurrent vaccine coverage is less than 2% of the population.

We look forward to the continued assistance of our partners as we embark on increasing our vaccine coverage in the country News agencies are urged to report responsibly, and members of the public to fact-check theirsources and avoid spreading misinformation at this critical time in the fight against COVID-19.