Good Morning Britain has been hit with over 1000 Ofcom complaints over a discussion about the Covid yellow card reporting system that aired earlier this month.
On November 1, Dr Hilary Jones warned Richard Madeley, Susanna Reid and viewers of a ‘bogus’ leaflet that lists ‘misinformation’ surrounding the vaccine.
‘Beware of bogus letter drops,’ he said as he held up an example to the camera. ‘This is complete misinformation.’
Dr Hilary continued: ‘It looks like a government UK yellow card reporting scheme for adverse reaction to any kind of medicines or vaccines, but this purports to talk about all types of adverse reactions to vaccines which are completely bogus.’
‘So it’s anti-vaccine?’ Richard then asked.
‘Absolutely,’ Dr Hilary responded. ‘It will put a lot of people off the vaccine dangerously because it’s complete misinformation.’
Richard then ripped up the leaflet, encouraging others to do the same if they so happen to get a similar card through their letterbox.
Viewers were quick to criticise Dr Hilary and shared beliefs that they think the poster is from the government, claiming that he was attempting to ‘hide the truth’.
Television watchdog Ofcom announced that 1540 complaints have been made regarding the broadcast of the segment.
An Ofcom spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’
While the Yellow Card scheme itself is real, Full Fact, a team of independent fact checkers, has said the poster that was seemingly referred to on Good Morning Britain was not produced by The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the government body that runs Yellow Card.
‘Bad information puts lives at risk, especially during a pandemic,’ Claire Milne, deputy editor at Full Fact told us.
‘We’ve seen multiple examples of posters, social media posts and other claims either imitating information from MHRA for misleading purposes or perpetuating misinformation on the Yellow Card scheme. Many of these imitations are made to look similar to official publications and list side effects which have no proven link to Covid-19 vaccines.
‘We urge everyone to be cautious of health advice when they’re unsure of its origin or it doesn’t look right. If you think you’ve seen misinformation about the Yellow Card scheme or anything else, you can forward it to Full Fact via the website or on WhatsApp at 07521 770995.’
Vaccines are the best way to protect people from Covid and have already saved thousands of lives.
The Yellow Card scheme is run by MHRA and is the UK system for collecting and monitoring information on safety concerns such as suspected side effects or adverse incidents involving medicines and medical devices.
The scheme relies on voluntary reporting of suspected side effects or medical device incidents to be reported by health professionals and the public, including patients, carers and parents.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.