ELIOTT ROE AGAINST STUFF

Case Number: 3123

Council Meeting: OCTOBER 2021

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Ruling Categories: Misleading

Overview

CASE NO: 3123

RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF ELLIOTT ROE AGAINST STUFF

FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED

DATE: OCTOBER 2021

 

Stuff published a video on June 24, 2021 titled Declining the vaccine is far riskier than having it.

The video referred, in part, to the small number of severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine and reported “the chances of a severe allergic reaction are only about five in a million.”

 

The complaint is that this figure only referred to the incidence of anaphylaxis and that the video failed to mention myocarditis, which Mr Roe said was another allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine and can in rare cases be severe. He said the video was therefore misleading.

 

Stuff projects director John Hartevelt said that while anaphylaxis was defined as a severe allergic reaction, myocarditis was regarded as a rare and mostly mild side-effect of the vaccine. This was supported by MedSafe advice that there were very rare reports of myocarditis occurring after vaccination in younger men, these were typically mild cases and the individuals tended to recover within a short term following standard treatment and rest.

 

It is the Media Council’s view that Stuff had credible support for the statement made in its video. It was not shown to be misleading or wrong to distinguish, as the medical experts have done, between a severe allergic reaction and something they regard as a rare and mostly mild side-effect. 

 

There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

 

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