Home South African Health minister slams misleading ‘activated charcoal’ Covid vaccine claims

Health minister slams misleading ‘activated charcoal’ Covid vaccine claims


The Department of Health has rubbished claims on social media about deaths supposedly linked to the Covid-19 vaccine and advocating for the use of activated charcoal as a defence against the vaccine.

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla. File picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers.

THE HEALTH Department has rubbished claims made in a social media post about deaths supposedly linked to the Covid-19 vaccine.

The post claims that people who have been vaccinated are dying and further promotes the use of an unregistered, over-the-counter product known as “Nature’s Choice-Activated Charcoal” as a way of prevent deaths.

“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.

Phaahla urged members of the public to ignore the social media post.

“The voice note has a potential to cause significant confusion, anger, and anxiety especially amongst those who lost their loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He said that there was absolutely no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccinations were “killing” people.

In a statement from the department, Phaahla said the product, activated charcoal, was not registered with the body that establishes and regulates the safety, efficacy and quality of all medicines distributed in the country, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).

“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 explained.

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 said all the claims were adjudicated and finalised by the adjudication panel.

He said 30 of the claims had no evidence of temporary or permanent disability while the scheme has paid R450,000 for the three deaths and a total of R171,000 was paid 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. There were six claims that were assessed but still require additional information.

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