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Brazilian court orders posts linking Covid-19 vax to VAIDS removed

Tuesday, December 19th 2023 - 10:00 UTC
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Brazil's AGU warned that the association of vaccines with AIDS harms public health Brazil's AGU warned that the association of vaccines with AIDS harms public health

The 20th Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro Monday ordered the removal of publications on websites and Telegram channels linking Covid-19 vaccines with the alleged development of a “vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” (or VAIDS), Agencia Brasil reported.

According to a survey by the Federal Attorney General's Office (AGU), the posting went viral on various social networks and reached at least three million people.

The injunction granted Monday also provides for the removal of another 20 postings targetting vaccines under a penalty of a daily fine of R$ 10,000 (around US$ 2,042)) for each post in the event of non-compliance.

In addition, the injunction bans those responsible for the channels from making new posts disseminating false content on the subject.

The lawsuit was filed by the AGU's National Prosecutor's Office for the Defense of Democracy (PNDD), based on information gathered by the Presidency of the Republic's Secretariat for Social Communication (Secom) as part of the Committee to Combat Disinformation about the National Immunization Program and Public Health Policies.

The initiative is a part of the Saúde com Ciência (Health with Science) inter-ministerial program aimed at promoting and strengthening public health policies and valuing science.

In October, government monitoring began to detect a significant increase in mentions of the term “VAIDS” on the internet and, after cross-checking the data, the National Court website was identified as the source of the false information.

“It was then verified that the website functions as the epicenter of a chain of disinformation content disseminated on Telegram and X to discredit the National Immunization Program and discourage people from getting vaccinated, including in a way linked to the international anti-vaccine movement through the replication, translated, of texts published on foreign websites recognized as disseminators of disinformation on the subject,” the AGU said in a statement.

The AGU also warned that the association of vaccines with AIDS, among other unfounded theories, “harms public health by fostering doubts about the safety and efficacy of immunizers and inducing individuals to avoid vaccines and to seek alternative treatments that have no proven efficacy or that pose health dangers. The Federal Attorney General's Office also points out that the reduction in vaccination coverage, verified in recent Health Ministry data, jeopardizes collective immunity and increases the possibility of outbreaks of preventable diseases and the emergence of more dangerous and resistant strains of pathogens from which the vaccines protect, putting people's health and lives at risk.”

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Health & Science, Brazil.
Tags: COVID-19, VAIDS.

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