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COVID-19 disinformation sharing by Canadian doctors ‘extremely concerning’: Ontario health minister

Click to play video: '‘Unacceptable’ for doctors to spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation: Ontario health minister' ‘Unacceptable’ for doctors to spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation: Ontario health minister
Ontario Health Minister Chrstine Elliott on Wednesday addressed reports that doctors were spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, calling it “unacceptable.” Elliot said she would be sending a letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario “urging them to do everything that is possible to put an end to this behaviour.” – Jan 19, 2022

Ontario’s health minister is urging the regulatory body overseeing the province’s health professionals to crack down on a group of doctors spreading unverified medical information about the COVID-19 vaccines, after the situation was brought to light in a Global News investigation.

Christine Elliott made the comments during a press conference on Wednesday morning to update Ontarians on the province’s fight against the Omicron variant.

“At a time when it’s never been more important for Ontarians to have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, this is unacceptable,” she says.

Read more: How a web of Canadian doctors are undermining the fight against COVID-19

Some doctors are sharing unverified information on blood clots and myocarditis side effects, while others have been accused of issuing false medical exemptions for wearing a mask or receiving a vaccine. Several have claimed the vaccine “kills children.”

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All of the doctors, except one, have active medical licences.

During the press conference, Elliott labelled these reports “extremely concerning.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says' COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says
COVID-19: Ontario sees ‘glimmers of hope’ in Omicron fight, health minister says – Jan 19, 2022

 

Elliott said she would be sending a letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) “urging them to do everything that is possible to put an end to this behaviour.”

“They should consider all options in doing so, including reviewing the licences of physicians found to be spreading misinformation,” she says.

“This behaviour takes away from the unceasing efforts of the vast majority of physicians who are working to protect us all. I want all Ontarians to know that our vaccines are safe and effective. They’re the best protection.”

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Ontario family physician says more must be done to hold doctors with anti-vaccine views accountable – Jan 18, 2022

Elliott went on to say Ontario was seeing “glimmers of hope” in its fight against the Omicron variant and because of that, the government will be making an announcement later this week on the public health measures that were put in place earlier this month.

She says cases are expected to peak this month, with a peak in hospitalizations and ICU admissions to follow.

Read more: The great COVID-19 infodemic — How disinformation networks are radicalizing Canadians

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