FACT CHECK: Did This Volunteer In A UK Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Die?

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Dr. Elisa Granato, one of the first volunteers to receive a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K., has died.

Verdict: False

Granato has not died. The U.K. Department of Health and Social Care debunked the claim on Twitter, and so did Granato.

Fact Check:

The U.K. microbiologist became one of the first people to be injected with a potential coronavirus vaccine as part of a clinical trial at Oxford University last week, according to The Guardian.

Social media users started sharing on Sunday an article, titled “First volunteer in UK coronavirus vaccine trial has died,” claiming Granato had died following complications from taking the vaccine. The Facebook post lifts its text nearly word-for-word from that article and makes the same claim.

The U.K.’s Department of Health and Social Care debunked the claim that she had died from the vaccine in an April 26 tweet.

“News circulating on social media that the first volunteer in a UK #coronavirus vaccine trial has died is completely untrue,” reads part of the tweet. (RELATED: Did A Man Die ‘After Taking Malaria Medication Touted By Trump As Possible Cure For Coronavirus?’)

Following the rumors about her “death,” Granato tweeted about her good health before making her Twitter account private, according to The Guardian. Fergus Walsh, the medical correspondent for BBC News, tweeted a video from an interview with her the same day.

“I’m very much alive, thank you,” she says in the video. “I’m having a cup of tea, it’s Sunday, 26th of April. Three days after my birthday. Three days after I got the vaccine or the control, we don’t know. And I’m having a nice Sunday, and I hope everyone else in the world has too.”

As of press time, the new coronavirus has sickened more than 3.1 million people and killed some 218,000 others worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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