FACT CHECK: The Department of Indigenous Medicine does not allow any party to issue a card/document related to immunization/vaccination.

While the Covid-19 vaccination process is underway, health authorities encourage the citizens to get the booster shot as well. 

For January 29th it has been one year since Sri Lanka started with the vaccination process. 

The Minister of Health also issued a special Gazette notification on January 25, 2022 regarding the Covid-19 vaccination.

The guidelines for the full vaccination process have also been updated.

On January 30th, 2022, a special live program about the booster vaccine was telecast on all television channels to educate the public. 

Last week, Dr Anwar Hamdani, the Chief Coordinator of Covid-19 at the Ministry of Health warned about these fake vaccination cards.

Last year the Government  announced to make the vaccine card mandatory when accessing  public places. A discussion on this regard was observed widely on social media.

On Facebook we were able to observe posts stating that a ‘Covid-19’ vaccination card is not required and that an immunization card can be obtained without being vaccinated.

The relevant screenshots are attached below. 

You can see how this was further circulated/exchanged in the screenshots below. 

Many of these Facebook posts claim that indigenous medical practitioners are able to provide an immunization card. 

We made an inquiry regarding this by contacting relevant personnel behind the actions.

The person who answered stated that the relevant immunization card will be issued after obtaining the medicine the practitioner had provided.

When questioned if the medicine or the procedure was registered with the Department of Indigenous Medicine, his reply was; “No”. 

Although we tried to contact the relevant doctor, they did not give proper answers to the questions we raised in this regard.

We inquired about this from the Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath. His full answer is presented below. 

“If a card or anything else is issued in any way, the first thing to do is to go and ask if there is approval from any relevant  authority to do such a thing.”

“We do not know if this is happening. If it is released as an ayurvedic medicine, the Department of Indigenous Medicine needs to intervene. If something else happens due to individuals consuming this medicine, the relevant police or other authorities should investigate the matter and find out the truth. If there is any information or approval required from the Ministry of Health in this matter, we can reply to it if we are officially informed. 

Alternatively, if people complain to our hospital or to the provincial health officer in our health area, they can inquire about it. But what we do is inform the police, because we have no direct way to deal with it. 

We inquired about this from the Commissioner of Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Dhammika Abeygunawardena. 

Below are the questions we posed to the Commissioner and his responses.

Question – Is there an immunization card issued by the Department of Indigenous Medicine or Ayurveda? Or has such permission been granted to another party?

Answer – The Department of Ayurveda has not authorized anyone to issue a ‘Covid-19’ immunization card or to confirm that it provides protection against the virus in any other way. No institution has been given permission in this regard. I also saw it being published in news media like this. It was also reported that this kind of news was being published near the University of Sri Jayawardanapura. It is being done to challenge us as well. They have nothing to do with the Department, the Ministry of Health or the Department of Health Services. 

Question – Has there been a medicine issued for immunization?

Answer – There is no such special medicine for immunization. There are drugs for immunization, but nowhere does it say that ‘Covid-19’ does not develop when the drugs are consumed. There is no proof in this regard by experimental or any other means. 

Question – Is any medicine licensed? 

Answer – We have registered 14 drugs related to the development of immunity to the Covid 19 virus. From these, 13 drugs are produced in the private sector. There are 14 including the drug which is produced by the Ayurveda Corporation. In addition, under the Commissioner of the Department of Indigenous Medicine, Suvadharani Churnaya, Gudujjadi decoction, and medicinal anti-inflammatory porridge have been introduced. Of these, we expect only to maintain the person’s immune system. Nowhere do we say that this is a ‘cure for the Covid 19’ virus and that this would prevent a Covid 19 infection. To be safe from Covid 19, it is important to follow basic health practices and obtain such medications or vaccines provided by Western health professionals. These are the things we can do to protect ourselves. 

Meanwhile, there are 14 immunosuppressive drugs approved by the Department of Ayurveda for the new coronavirus (Covid-19 epidemic). The Department of Ayurveda had announced the release of these immunosuppressive pharmaceutical products. 

That announcement is mentioned below. 

Question – Is there a document issued by the Department or a local medical institute/doctor other than the vaccination card issued by the Ministry of Health after the vaccination?

Answer – The Ministry of Health and the Director General of Health Services are responsible for the vaccine. Also, if something is issued by the Indigenous Medicine Division, the Commissioner should be responsible for it. The Commissioner has not yet given any authority or legal authority to issue such a card or any such thing to a government institution or a private institution. 

We have previously examined facts about the Department of Indigineous medicine/Drugs etc. 

The relevant link is given below. 

Prescriptions that claim to be the cure for Covid 19 on social media are not accepted/not experienced. 

Our conclusion

The Government of Sri Lanka is implementing the ‘Covid-19’ vaccination programme.

Government agencies such as the Ministry of Health, the Epidemiology Unit and the National Center for the Prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 are jointly implementing the vaccination process. 

In Sri Lanka, Covershield/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer (Pfizer/BioNTech), and Moderna vaccines are given.

After administering the first dose of the vaccine, health authorities issue a card with the name of the vaccine, the date the vaccine was given, and the dosage. 

Other than that, the government does not issue any other official vaccination card/document. 

All information related to Covid 19 and Covid 19 vaccination is available on the website of the Epidemiology Unit

Daily reports of the Epidemiology Division of the Ministry of Health regarding the Covid 19 vaccination.

This is an updated article of the fact check which was published on November 4th, 2021. Click here to read the article. 

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