Tess Lawrie

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Tess Lawrie demonstrating the delicate art of cherry-picking.
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[Tess] Lawrie has a large online following of vaccine sceptics to whom she spruiks the dangers of vaccines while holding up ivermectin as an effective treatment. Indeed, she’s weaponised the meta-analysis as part of her pro-ivermectin, anti-vaccine campaign – views that are at odds with the impartiality expected of someone carrying out a meta-analysis.
—Elizabeth Finkel on COVID pandemic fraud[1]
Ivermectin works. There's nothing that will persuade me [it doesn't]. The only issues with the evidence base are the relentless efforts to undermine it.
—Tess Lawrie on her commitment to evidence-based medicine[2]

Theresa Anne Lawrie (June 1967–)[3] is a former obstetrician[4] turned obstinate anti-vax activist and inveterate ivermectin pusher. During the pandemic she founded pseudo-medical organizations the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) group and the World Council for Health (WCH),Wikipedia and convened Better Way Conference. She has not been licensed to practice since August 9, 2021, and as of March 25, 2024 is no longer registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).Wikipedia[4]

For the birds[edit]

In January 2021, Lawrie, through her seemingly misnamed Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy, published a rapid review, in support of the claims of misguided activist group Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC),Wikipedia which erroneously found in favour of the effectiveness of ivermectin against COVID-19. She subsequently formed the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) group as a counterpart to the US-based FLCCC in using crowdfunding to push protocols for the use of ivermectin which Lawrie claimed could end the pandemic in weeks. Lawrie responded to criticisms of BIRD's partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Jr's antivax Children's Health Defense by stating it “irrelevant to the global need for early safe and effective treatment for Covid-19”.[5][6][2]

In September 2021, Lawrie was part of an antivax brain trust, including clottish funeral director John O'Looney, retired policeman turned sovereign citizen Mark Sexton, suspended GP turned holistic practitioner Sam White, and former Pfizer pharmacologist turned antivax activist Michael Yeadon,Wikipedia which met with a “senior” Tory MP, said to have been head of the 1922 CommitteeWikipedia Sir Graham Brady,Wikipedia to call for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to be paused “as a matter of urgency” and for those vaccines to “at no point” be given to children. Brady, while not confirming the meeting had taken place, clarified that if it had, it would not amount to an endorsement of their views.[7][8]

That same month Lawrie and Canadian dentist Jennifer Hibberd formed the misleadingly named World Council for Health (WCH)Wikipedia as "an umbrella group for purveyors of COVID misinformation."[9] The council's steering committee includes seemingly confused non-practicing solicitor Anna de Buisseret, homeopathic dentist Zac Cox, and other such experts. This group has declared COVID vaccines “dangerous and ineffective,” released a bullshit guide to “spike protein detox,” falsely claimed COVID vaccination leads to heart issues, and called on followers to deliver an anti-vax petition to local elected officials.[9]

In May 2022, Lawrie organised and opened the misnamed and misguided Better Way Conference alongside fearmongering antivax profiteer Del Bigtree. Her opening remarks set the tone by stating that Bath, where it was held, was both an “ancient place of healing and discovery” and the place where astronomer William Herschel had discovered Uranus: a planet “considered the great awakener, the force that shakes you out of your slumber.” The list of invited speakers included anti-vax lawyers RFK Jr., Reiner Fuellmich,Wikipedia Lois Bayliss and Philip Hyland, and immunologists turned conspiracist Dolores Cahill and Robert W. Malone.Wikipedia The conference had to be relocated at short notice after Bath and North East Somerset Council, who owned the original venue, realised that the event was not going to be the promotion of “an evidence-based approach to medical decision making, sovereignty, empowerment and reimagining the future of healthcare,” it had billed itself as.[10]

Bird-brained ideas[edit]


Antiparasitic drug ivermectin has not been shown to be an effective treatment or preventative for COVID-19. Lawrie's claims to the contrary are based on her own meta-analysis, which cherry-picks studies with unacknowledged limitations and was not peer-reviewed prior to release. Concerns include:

  • a preprint which was withdrawn due to plagiarism and potential data fabrication,
  • three then ongoing clinical trials which produced inconclusive results, and
  • a report by a data analyst with no training in medicine or biology.

The meta-analysis also disregards more recent higher-quality studies which found no significant benefit from the treatment.[11][12]

Vaccine safety[edit]

The COVID-19 vaccines have be shown to be safe with the benefits vastly outweighing the risks of the disease. Lawrie's claims to the contrary are based on a (deliberate) misunderstanding of UK's Yellow CardWikipedia and WHO's VigiAccessWikipedia systems. These databases collect reports from the public of adverse reactions, however, the vast majority of reports are for minor, transitory and expected reactions, and even the more serious reports do not necessarily have a causal relationship with the vaccines. Global Health Policy and Data Institute director Timothy Mackey confirms, "absolute numbers of adverse events that are presented by these anti-vaxx groups are influenced by a higher number of non-serious adverse events and also unvalidated reports," and this is done, "to amplify concerns about (the) safety of vaccines." In actuality the number of confirmed serious adverse events, "is very low."[13][14]

There is also no evidence of serious harm from the HPV vaccine, despite Lawrie's claims to the contrary in a March 10, 2024, Xcretion.[15]


  1. Data detectives dig into ivermectin studies by Elizabeth Finkel (October 7, 2021) Cosmos
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid 'miracle' drug by Rachel Schraer and Jack Goodman (October 6, 2021) BBC Reality Check
  3. Theresa Anne LAWRIE Companies House
  4. 4.0 4.1 Theresa Anne LAWRIE General Medical Council
  5. Ivermectin frenzy: the advocates, anti-vaxxers and telehealth companies driving demand by Nick Robins-Early (September 13, 2021) Guardian
  6. Fringe Doctors’ Groups Promote Ivermectin for COVID despite a Lack of Evidence by Christina Szalinski (September 29, 2021) Scientific American
  7. Covid antivaxers ‘met senior Conservative MP’ Sir Graham Brady by Tom Whipple (September 30, 2021) The Sunday Times (archived September 30, 2021)
  8. Senior Tory MP Sir Graham Brady ‘met with anti-vaxxers’ by Zoe Tidman (September 30, 2021) The Independent
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mysterious Medical Organizations Are Calling for an End to COVID Vaccines by Anna Merlan (February 2, 2022) VICE News
  10. The Davos of COVID Conspiracy Theorists Is Happening in a UK Town Right Now by Tim Hume (May 20, 2022) VICE News
  11. Ivermectin isn’t a highly effective drug for treating COVID-19 by Zdenek Zadrazil (March 22, 2021) Science Feedback
  12. Current data from clinical trials offer no reliable evidence that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19; better-quality clinical trials are needed to resolve this question by Flora Teoh (April 25, 2021) Science Feedback
  13. Yellow Card scheme for adverse events does not suggest any new side effects of COVID-19 vaccines by Ian Le Guillou (June 16, 2021) Science Feedback
  14. Posts misrepresent reports in WHO vaccine safety database by Marisha Goldhamer (May 19, 2023) AFP
  15. HPV vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective by Leo Benedictus (April 3, 2024) FullFact