Northern Ireland

Jeffrey Donaldson challenged over Paul Frew Covid vaccine deaths claims

DUP MLA Paul Frew. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
DUP MLA Paul Frew. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire DUP MLA Paul Frew. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

SIR Jeffrey Donaldson has been challenged to state whether he agrees with a DUP MLA's claims that the authorities'"under reported" deaths caused by coronavirus vaccines.

Paul Frew has made recent allegations on social media about the effects of Covid vaccinations, including claims that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported that 47 people in the north "had died from vaccine injury" up to late September last year.

He also said the MHRA had suggested the figure of fatalities had been "under reported".

"These are real people who feel completely and utterly forgotten and ignored, by government, by political reps, by medical practitioners, by media," he said of the fatalities.

The MHRA said it had received 47 reports of "possible adverse reactions relating to the Covid-19 vaccines... where there was a fatal outcome". However, the agency said the reactions had not been proven and "should not be interpreted as such". It also dismissed suggestions that there had been under-reporting.

The North Antrim MLA, a persistent critic of many Covid-related restrictions, said he had written to the then heath minister Robin Swann urging an inquiry into the deaths. In a series of tweets at the weekend, he suggested excess deaths potentially linked to vaccines had been "played down".

Ulster Unionist health spokesperson Alan Chambers described Mr Frew's posts as "outrageous".

"I would have to ask whether his party leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson agrees with them – and if not, what action does he intend to take?” he said.

An SDLP spokesperson said the DUP MLA's comments "have no basis in reality" and were "best ignored".

Last week Tory MP Andrew Bridgen lost the party whip having "crossed a line" in his criticism of the Covid-19 vaccine.

There was no comment from the DUP .