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Fact Check-Three physicians’ deaths not related to COVID-19 vaccine, Canadian hospital says

Update, August 5, 2022: Paragraph 8 has been updated to include information about Dr. Sawicki’s diagnosis.

Social media users are sharing the news of the recent deaths of three physicians at a hospital in Canada and claiming that the cause of death was complications from COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital where the physicians worked said that their deaths were unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine, however.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here).

The text in one post reads: “THREE Trillium Health Partners-Mississauga Hospital doctors have DIED suddenly in 1 week, apparently after getting latest mandated booster. Cause of deaths is not yet disclosed. How often have 3 doctors died, days after hospitals started giving 4th shot to hospital staff.”

Trillium Health Partners, a hospital in Mississauga, Ontario, responded to the claims via Twitter (here) saying: “It is with deep sadness that THP mourns the loss of three of our physicians who recently passed away. Dr. Jakub Sawicki, Dr. Stephen McKenzie and Dr. Lorne Segall were respected physicians who dedicated their lives to caring for their patients and community.”

The hospital added (here “The rumour circulating on social media is simply not true. Their passings were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine. We ask to please respect their families’ privacy during this difficult time.”

Segall’s obituary (here) explains that he passed away on July 17, 2022 at the age of 49 after “a ridiculously unfair and hard fought year-long battle with advanced lung cancer.”

A CTV News article (here) reported that although McKenzie’s condition was not disclosed, he had been “seriously ill” leading up to his death on July 18, 2022, according to his office.

Sawicki's wife told CTV News Toronto that her husband had been diagnosed with a stage 4 gastric cancer called Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma. ( here )

VERDICT

No evidence. The passing of three Ontario physicians was unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the hospital they worked at. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

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