MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Dealing with those opposed to vaccination requires a calm and balanced approach, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"It’s not our prerogative. Expressing a reasonable opinion is one thing but calling for some action is another. Only courts can consider these things and issue verdicts," he said, commenting on reports that the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare had ordered its regional branches to send data on those spreading deliberately false information about coronavirus vaccination to prosecutors and investigators.
"Surely, it would be wrong to turn it all into a witch hunt. These things require a very calm, sober and balanced approach," Peskov pointed out.
A situation where doctors seek to talk patients out of getting vaccinated is a negative one but it’s not up to the Kremlin to determine the punishment for such actions, Peskov said, when asked if doctors involved in those activities should be criminally prosecuted.
The Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare earlier announced that it had handed down instructions to inform prosecutors and investigators about people, including medical workers, who actively spread deliberately false information about the dangers of coronavirus vaccination, should there be such information, as these activities fall under Articles 207.1 and 207.2 of the Russian Criminal Code. According to the watchdog, information is collected from the regional media and social networks.
The Izvestia newspaper reported earlier on Wednesday that the regional branches of the watchdog had sent files on 37 active anti-vaxxers to the Investigative Committee and the prosecution authorities. The data had been collected on social media in the previous three weeks.