False Claims About Nurse’s Death After COVID Vaccine Go Viral
We found that the nurse had only fainted and the incident was not caused because of the vaccine.
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Social media posts saying that a nurse died in the United States of America after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have gone viral.
We found that the nurse felt dizzy after getting the vaccine but she later clarified that she has a history of having an over-reactive vagal response and passes out when she experiences any kind of pain.
One of the viral claims about the incident on Facebook reads, “There are reports Tiffany Pontes Dover is dead. She is the nurse who collapsed on live television when being interviewed about the vaccine. We can't confirm it, we are trying to collect as much intel as possible.”
We also received the same claim on our WhatsApp tipline that had a message with it that read, “A nurse dies straight into the air after taking the Pfizer vaccine !! Yes, it is 95% safe, but 100% is certain death [sic].”
We also found that the video was shared with a Hindi caption that read, “इस नर्स ने करोना का वैक्सीन लगवाया और मीडिया के सामने आकर वैक्सीन की तारीफ करने लगी कि यह बहुत अच्छा है और तारीफ करते करते ही इसका जय सियाराम हो गया! आप खुद देखिए वीडियो!”
[Transaltion: This nurse got vaccinated against coronavirus and came in front of the media to praise the vaccine. Watch the video yourself and see what happpened!]
The post also seemed to question the legitimacy of the pandemic.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a Google search for “nurse faints after COVID-19 vaccine” and found a report published on WRCB, an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. The report was titled, “First doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered at Chattanooga hospital on Thursday”. The story mentioned that Tiffany Dover, a critical care unit Nurse at the hospital, fainted shortly after receiving the vaccine.
It contained clips of the viral video where the nurse can be seen fainting and subsequently being lowered to the ground.
The same story carried an interview of the nurse after the fainting incident where she told the WRCB reporter, “I have a history of having an over-reactive vagal response, and so with that if I have pain from anything, hangnail or if I stub my toe, I can just pass out”.
“I have passed out probably six times in the past six weeks... it’s common for me,” Dover added.
Dr Jesse Tucker, a critical care physician at the same hospital, also received the vaccine that day. In the same video, he was seen saying that there was “no reason to suspect that that’s (Dover’s fainting) due to the vaccine whatsoever.”
We reached out to CHI Memorial hospital who told us that Dover was doing fine. They shared with us a photo of her with nursing leaders of the hospital taken on 21 December 2020.
We checked the metadata of the files that were shared with us and found that the photo was indeed taken on 21 December 2020 at 02:42 pm.
The hospital also shared a video of Dover with her colleagues on their social media handles.
The CHI Memorial hospital had previously put out a statement on Twitter and said, “On Thursday, 17 December 2020, CHI Memorial administered its first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to six individuals - three physicians and three nurses. Shortly after and while conducting a media interview, one of the nurses became dizzy and was assisted to the floor. She never lost consciousness and quickly recovered.”
The statement added a report from the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website that says, “Fainting can be triggered by many types of medical procedures. In fact, CDC has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccines.”
The vaccine — manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech — received emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 11 December. The vaccine was approved after a trial with over 44,000 people was conducted and it was found that the shot was extremely safe and has 95 percent efficacy against the novel coronavirus.
Evidently, the claim that a nurse died after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is false. She fainted briefly because of a medical condition that she has which was not related to the vaccine.
(Note: The story has been updated with an image of Tiffany Dover at the hospital and a video shared by CHI Memorial informing people about her wellbeing.)
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