Ofcom issues warning to ITV after nearly 4,000 complaints 5 months ago

Ofcom issues warning to ITV after nearly 4,000 complaints

The complaints were lodged at covid data mentioned on Lorraine

Ofcom has issued a warning to broadcasters ITV after they received over 3,833 complaints following inaccurate covid data mentioned on an episode of Lorraine Kelly's self-titled show.

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The comments were made by regular guest Dr Hilary Jones who implored “Those people who haven’t been vaccinated, we’d really love you to think again and be vaccinated because 90% of people in hospital are unvaccinated right now with Covid.”

Airing on December 6 2021, these remarks were quickly pointed out as inaccurate - with the figure mentioned actually referring to the number of unvaccinated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the time.

However, Ofcom has decided that no formal investigation will take place and are simply reiterating similar advice issued to former presenter Eamonn Holmes back in 2020 after he was also accused of spreading misinformation regarding the pandemic.

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Part of the reasoning behind the decision not to pursue these complaints any further is that not only did the show issue a clarification two days later clearing up the actual statistics Jones misreported - but the purpose of the segment was also deemed to be encouraging people to take up the vaccine.

They stated: "given official statistics and research have consistently shown that vaccination against Covid-19 offers greater protection against serious health consequences, we do not consider that the error was sufficient to materially mislead viewers on this main point of discussion."

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As for any confusion, the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) indicates that about 40 per cent of people admitted to hospital with covid-19 in the last three weeks of December were reported to be unvaccinated.

In addition, the latest data suggests that of the covid patients admitted to the ICU in October 2021, 47 per cent were unvaccinated - a decrease from 75 per cent back in May.

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