CLAIM: Three doctors in a hospital system in Canada recently died from COVID-19 vaccinations.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The hospital system the doctors worked for called such claims “simply untrue.” Public information about the deaths suggests two died from cancer. The third was “seriously ill,” according to his office, although the exact cause of death has not been publicly disclosed.
THE FACTS: Social media posts over the past few days have linked the deaths of the three doctors to COVID-19 vaccines without any evidence.
“THREE doctors at Trillium Health Partners-Missisauga Hospital have died suddenly within a week, apparently after receiving their last mandatory booster,” the tweet said.
Another tweet linking the deaths of doctors to vaccines used hashtags like “#StopTheShots” and “#VaccineDeaths.”
The three doctors worked for Trillium Health Partnersa hospital system in Ontario.
The health system confirmed the death of Dr. However, Jakub Sawicki, Stephen McKenzie and Lorne Segall refuted suggestions that the deaths were linked to COVID-19 shooting.
“The rumor circulating on social media is simply not true,” spokesman Amit Shilton said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Her death was not related to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
A obituary Segall, who died on July 17 at the age of 49, said the otolaryngologist died after a “ridiculously unfair and hard-fought year-long battle with advanced lung cancer.”
Sawicki, meanwhile, died on July 19 and had stomach cancer, according to a GoFundMe page arranged by his wife Iris to raise money on his behalf for a scholarship for prospective medical students. Sawicki was a member of a surgical assistant team at Trillium, according to a memorial release from the hospital provided to AP.
McKenzie was a neurologist in the hospital system for nearly 40 years before he died on July 18, according to a similar release shared by Trillium with the AP. A voicemail for his office tells callers that McKenzie was “severely ill” prior to his death and that his office is permanently closed.
Officials and experts have determined that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing serious illness and death from the virus. As of December 2020, more than 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States alone. according to to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is part of AP’s efforts to address widespread misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact checking at AP.