This Morning has been hit with Ofcom complaints after Beverley Turner voiced concerns over the coronavirus vaccine and argued it’s not effective.
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
Journalist Beverley joined Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond on Monday’s programme, in a fiery segment about the jab, where she claimed it doesn’t prevent people ‘catching or passing on’ Covid-19.
‘It’s a trial drug, we are still in clinical trials,’ Beverley argued. ‘We have no long-term data.’
So far, millions of people have been given Covid-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or clotting problems, have been very rare.
Beverley Turner sparked Ofcom complaints with her comments about the vaccine (Picture: ITV)
Hitting back at Beverley’s comments, Dermot said: ‘We don’t have a chance to have long-term data because we have this virus that’s killing people around the whole world.’
At one point in the segment, fellow guest Matthew Wright branded Beverley ‘massively irresponsible’.
Following the segment, Professor Tim Spector joined the programme to give audiences facts about the coronavirus vaccine.
‘Vaccines are very effective at both stopping you getting the virus, and also reducing the amount of virus you get so that it’s much harder to transmit it,’ he said.
Viewers were outraged by the scenes at hand, with one writing: ‘Irresponsible of you to clip this up as it contains so much misinformation. I hope you clip up the actual expert talking about it!’
‘I really do not think she is qualified to make these comments and I have no idea why she’s being given airtime on a mainstream channel to air these extreme views,’ added another. ‘Bizarre editorial choice by ITV.’
Television watchdog Ofcom has revealed that 122 complaints were lodged against This Morning’s Monday episode, of which, 53 complaints were made against Beverley.
A further 27 were made in response to Dermot and Matthew Wright’s comments and 13 concerned Alison, who said she ‘doesn’t want to die’ as she shared her concerns.
The UK as a whole is expected to hit another milestone of three-quarters of the adult population receiving their first Covid-19 jab.
Latest Government data suggests more than 39.4 million people had received their first dose, equating to 74.9% of adults.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
What is Ofcom and what does it cover?
Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.
The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.
Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.
Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.
The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.
This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.
Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.
Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.
If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.
An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.