False - July 15, 2021

Johnson & Johnson vaccine applicable: MoPH

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has rejected as baseless reports about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine causing neurological disorders after its application.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said the World Health Organization (WHO) had approved the American vaccine. It added the vaccine was duly licenced.

Rumours:

Domestic and International media outlets reported earlier that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine created psychological disorders six weeks after being administered.

Daily Hasht-i-Subh quoted Reuters as saying that according to the US Food and Drug Administration, there was risk of developing a rare neurological disease six weeks after the vaccine was administered.

According to the report, there have been 95 reported cases of serious illness in the United States due to the vaccine that required bed rest and one death has also been reported.

The newspaper added the Johnson & Johnson Company said in a statement that it was talking to monitoring teams about possible disorders caused by the vaccine.

Ariana News also tweeted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had told the company that there was a possibility of contracting the syndrome after vaccination.

The FDA said if the vaccine caused weakness, walking or facial changes, then serious care should be taken.

Fact check:

The Ministry of Public Health says all vaccines licenced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) were effective, safe and applicable.

Usman Tahiri, deputy spokesman for MoPH, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the vaccine approved by the WHO had no issues and people should not worry about using it.

He said the article published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not been approved yet by the World Health Organization.

Tahiri said generally all medications and vaccines had some side-effects such as fever, nausea and fatigue. But these disorders go away quickly and are not permanent.

According to him, the Johnson vaccine has not adversely affected anyone so far and with each passing day, the interest of the people is increasing in vaccination.

Earlier, some Facebook users and doctors called the use of the vaccine dangerous and said it could lead to poor health and even death. But MoPH spurned the claims as mere “rumours”. It insisted Covid-19 vaccines had no side-effects.

Meanwhile, Dr Kawan Mirhadi, a self-proclaimed “expert on virus identification”, tweeted the coronavirus vaccine helps prevent death and persistent Covid-19 infection.

“Research shows that one in three people have neurological or psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety,” he wrote.

The US recently donated three million doses of of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Afghanistan. Since last Saturday (July 10), it has been administered to citizens, including teachers and university professors.

Conclusion: The Ministry of Public Health has denied reports that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine causes risks of neurological disorders.

Verdict: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, manufactured by the United States, has been approved by WHO and is safe and applicable.


“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”

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