BOGUS INDIVIDUALS appear to be using the name of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) to spread false information regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
A statement issues by the Hemispheric Organisation title “Circulation of ‘Public Warning Alert’ on COVID-19 vaccines fraudulently using PAHO’s name and logo’ seeks to alert the public to the issue.
It said “A social media video from an unidentified source unlawfully using the logo and name of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is circulating in English-speaking Caribbean countries as a “Public Warning Alert” on COVID-19 vaccination in children”.
PAHO said it would like to inform the public that the message does not reflect the position of the Organization, and that it contains false and defamatory information regarding PAHO’s activities, projects, and funding.
Furthermore, PAHO said the misinformation contained in the video that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous to children, cause infections and can lead them to become sterile is not based on scientific evidence. If this misinformation is followed by parents and guardians, children’s health will be put at serious risk.
By way of clarification, PAHo explains that Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can lead to severe disease in people at any age, especially those with underlying medical conditions. The virus has caused over 17,500 deaths in English-, Dutch- and French-speaking Caribbean countries and territories since 2020.
It says COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and provide strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
“PAHO’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy follows the advice of World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization and PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for Vaccines and Immunization in the Americas,” the statement emphasises.
“SAGE and TAG comprise independently appointed experts who review the clinical evidence on vaccine safety and effectiveness before making a recommendation,”, it adds.
Both currently recommend that people get vaccinated against COVID-19 to prevent severe disease and death, with vaccines approved under WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL).
SAGE and TAG recommend that countries must achieve at least 70% coverage with a primary vaccination series among the general population and 100% in high-risk priority groups.
PAHO reiterates the importance of implementing comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination strategies to reach these targets.
The Organization is working with Caribbean Governments and other partners to inform the population of the Caribbean and to encourage mothers to protect their children with the COVID-19 vaccine.
PAHO said it condemns the unauthorized and fraudulent use of its name and logo to spread any misinformation.