Health Department dismisses claims about deaths linked to Covid-19 vaccines

No deaths have been linked to the Covid vaccines, says the Health Department. | Liam McBurney REUTERS

No deaths have been linked to the Covid vaccines, says the Health Department. | Liam McBurney REUTERS

Published Feb 20, 2024


The Gauteng Department of Health has dismissed a voice note surfacing on social media that says people who were vaccinated against Covid-19 are believed to be dying.

The voice note promotes an unregistered over-the-counter product, Nature’s Choice - Activated Charcoal, as a solution to regain their health.

“There are no reported deaths causally linked to Covid-19 vaccines, except for the three cases that the department reported about early last year,” Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said in a statement on Monday.

The department said that there had been no deaths from the vaccines.

Phaahla said activated charcoal was not registered with the body that established and regulated the safety, efficacy and quality of all medicines distributed in the country, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.

“Some people drink it to relieve flatulence. If a person is on treatment, activated charcoal may bind to the active ingredient and reduce the effectiveness of medication. Abuse of activated charcoal may also interfere with absorption of nutrients in the diet,” Phaahla said.

He urged the public to ignore the misinformation.

“The voice note has the potential to incite anxiety, confusion and anger of those who lost their loved ones from the pandemic.

“Instead, people should be cautious of unscheduled health products, and seek advice from a registered health practitioner before consumption.”

Phaahla said that there was no evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccinations were killing people.

In June last year, the Covid-19 Vaccine Injury No Fault Compensation Scheme paid out R671 000 after receiving 49 claims.

At the time, Phaahla had said all the claims were adjudicated and finalised by the Adjudication Panel.

Thirty of the claims had no evidence of temporary or permanent disability. The scheme had paid R450 000 for the three deaths, R171 000 for a permanent disability claim and R45 000 for a temporary disability claim.

There was also a payment of R5 600 for a private doctor consultation claim. Six claims were assessed but required additional information.

The Star

Hope Mafu and Se-Anne Rall