ELIOTT ROE AGAINST STUFF
Case Number: 3123
Council Meeting: OCTOBER 2021
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Ruling Categories: Misleading
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.