ITV has been issued with a warning after an episode of Lorraine racked up nearly 4,000 complaints.
Ofcom has told the broadcaster that it must take “greater care” after Dr Hilary Jones shared inaccurate vaccine statistics on the ITV morning show, fronted by Lorraine Kelly.
The comments were made during an episode on December 6 as Lorraine and Dr Hilary spoke about the number of unvaccinated people in hospital amid the surge in the Omicron variant.
The programme attracted 3,833 complaints from viewers over the segment, on December 6, 2021, as host Lorraine and resident medical expert Dr Hilary encouraged viewers to accept the offer of a coronavirus vaccination.
Dr Hilary said: “Those people who haven’t been vaccinated, we’d really love you to think again and be vaccinated because 90% of people in hospital are unvaccinated right now with Covid.”
A clarification was broadcast on the show two days later, explaining the statistic related to patients in intensive care units rather than the proportion of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients in hospital.
On Monday (January 10) broadcasting watchdog Ofcom ruled it would not be launching a formal investigation, but has issued ITV with guidance.
In a statement, Ofcom said: “This programme incorrectly referenced the proportion of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients in hospital.
“We have told ITV that greater care should be taken by trusted medical experts when presenting facts and figures on public health issues.
“However, given official statistics and research have consistently shown that vaccination against Covid-19 offers greater protection against serious health consequences, we do not consider that the error was sufficient to materially mislead viewers on this main point of discussion.”