There is no evidence to substantiate a claim that 80 Canadian doctors died as a result of COVID-19 vaccines. Reuters reviewed obituaries and other public information about the 80 doctors included in the claim and found that some had died from accidents, cancer and other non-COVID related illnesses.
In a video that received over 22,000 likes at the time of writing, an Instagram user states, “In the nation of Canada, they’ve had over 80 doctors die in the previous six months between the ages of 25 to 55. Medical doctors. The only correlating factor for all of these doctors was the fact that they had taken the third and fourth booster shot” (00:42, here).
The video claim appears to be based on a letter written by Canadian physician William Makis to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in October 2022. In the letter, Makis points to his own analysis of data from CMA and other sources, which he says found higher rates of death among doctors under age 50 in Canada during the period since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines as compared with the past. (here).
The letter’s subject is the “Sudden deaths of 80 young Canadian doctors since rollout of COVID-19 vaccines,” and in it, Makis lists the names of 80 doctors along with their photographs and other details in the letter.
The CMA sent Reuters a statement saying that Makis’ analysis uses information from the group’s database of deceased physicians called InMemoriam. The statement added, “The InMemoriam service is offered to CMA members so they can keep track of their colleagues and recognize their passings over time. It is provided based on information sent to the CMA and should never be viewed as an exhaustive list of physicians’ deaths or as evidence to support conspiracies surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Reuters examined obituaries, news reports, and information from the InMemoriam service about all 80 of the doctors in Makis’ list, and found no evidence that proves any of the doctors’ deaths resulted from taking COVID vaccines.
At least 11 of the doctors died from cancer. Four died from accidents, including two car accidents, a drowning, and a death while descending the world’s second highest mountain (bit.ly/3PSiAsB), (here), (here), (here).
Another doctor’s body was found after going missing for several days (here). Yet another died from a congenital heart defect (here). Thirty-seven of the 80 doctors were over the age of 55 when they passed away.
In a previous Reuters fact check, the hospital where three doctors listed in the Makis letter worked confirmed that their deaths were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine (here).
Although the Instagram user claims that over 80 doctors died after taking their third and fourth booster shots, the earliest death listed in Makis’ letter was in Dec. 21, 2020. The first COVID vaccines did not roll out in Canada and other countries until Dec. 2020.
Mark Johnson, a spokesperson for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada told Reuters via email that the first vaccinations in Canada began on Dec. 14, 2020.
Johnson said the claim that the 80 doctors’ deaths were related to COVID vaccination “misrepresents vaccine safety” and is “unsubstantiated”.
In response to a Reuters request for comment, Makis did not address all the deaths from accidents and chronic illnesses such as cancer. In his response, Makis cited one doctor whose cause of death was listed as lung cancer and said that personal communication with colleagues of that doctor had revealed he died as a result of pulmonary embolisms – blood clots in the lung – and Makis noted that clotting has been linked with the COVID vaccines.
However, pulmonary embolism is also a well-known effect of advanced lung cancer and thought to occur in up to 63% of patients, according to a review of medical evidence (here).
Previous Reuters fact checks have addressed the safety and effectiveness of approved COVID-19 vaccines (here), (here).
No evidence. Publicly available evidence does not support a link between the deaths of 80 Canadian doctors and COVID-19 vaccination. At least 12 of the 80 doctors died from chronic illnesses and four died from accidents, according to a review of their obituaries and news reports.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.