UK regulator sued for not investigating Covid vaccine ‘misinformation’ | Vaccines and immunisation

The regulator charged with upholding professional standards in UK medical practice is being sued by a junior doctor over its refusal to investigate a cardiologist for spreading allegedly “harmful misinformation” about Covid vaccines.

Dr Matt Kneale brought the case against the General Medical Council after it failed to investigate Dr Aseem Malhotra at the ROC Private Clinic in London – who linked Covid vaccines to frequent, severe heart problems and deaths, despite substantial evidence for their safety.

In documents filed in the high court, Kneale alleges that the cardiologist peddled “unscientific and dangerous misinformation” about Covid vaccines on social media and elsewhere as the pandemic unfolded.

On one occasion, in October 2022, Malhotra tweeted that mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna were a “likely contributory factor” in all unexpected cardiac arrests, heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failures since 2021.

He went on to suggest that one in 1,000 Americans might have been killed by Covid jabs and branded the vaccination programme “the greatest miscarriage of medical science we will witness in our lifetime”. Malhotra, who believes a Covid booster contributed to the death of his father in July 2021, has more than half a million followers on Twitter.

Malhotra’s comments prompted Kneale to complain to the GMC, but the council chose not to investigate on the grounds that the statements were not sufficiently egregious to warrant action. Research by the UK Health Security Agency has found that the Covid vaccination programme, which used Pfizer and Moderna shots along with the adenovirus-based vaccine from Oxford/AstraZeneca, saved more than 100,000 lives in England alone by September 2021.

“We want the GMC to open an investigation,” Kneale said. “Not just to fully and dispassionately investigate this one doctor, but also to engage generally with the issue of doctors who may potentially cause harm to the public by their postings on social media.” The decision not to investigate risked creating a “wild west” where any doctor could say almost anything without consequence, Kneale added.

The case comes after the British Medical Association passed a vote of no confidence in the GMC at its annual meeting in Liverpool on Tuesday. The vote follows concerns over disproportionate sanctions against some doctors for minor mistakes and a failure to act against doctors who spread dangerous misinformation.

Early in the pandemic, Malhotra defended Covid vaccines on Good Morning Britain and criticised misinformation on social media that deterred people from having the shots. But he said on Tuesday that he had changed his view on their safety after reading new research.

“The Covid mRNA vaccines have not uncommon and serious adverse consequences including death and should likely never have been approved in the first place,” he said.

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A major study into Covid jabs found that mRNA vaccines marginally raised the risk of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, leading to an extra one to six cases for every million people who receive a first dose, and up to 10 extra cases for every million people who had a second shot. Covid infection itself causes an estimated 40 extra cases of myocarditis for every million infected. The vast majority of myocarditis is mild, according to the British Heart Foundation.

A GMC spokesperson said the council was aware of the concerns over Malhotra’s comments but could not comment on individual cases. “We take action where there is evidence of a risk to patients or public confidence or a serious breach of proper professional standards or conduct,” the spokesperson said. “We do not take this responsibility lightly and realise that our decisions can sometimes be disappointing for complainants.”


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