FACT CHECK: Viral Post Falsely Claims The First UK COVID-19 Vaccine Recipient Is A Crisis Actor

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims Margaret Keenan, the first U.K. recipient of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, is a crisis actor.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Keenan, a retired jewelry store assistant, is a crisis actor. The post includes photos of two other women that are noticeably younger than Keenan.

Fact Check:

The viral post features images of Keenan receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, a woman falling to the ground and a woman’s StarNow acting profile that the Facebook user presents as evidence Keenan is a crisis actor. Keenan, a 90-year-old retired U.K. jewelry store assistant, became the first person in the U.K. and the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial on Dec. 8, according to a National Health Service (NHS) press release.

There is, however, no evidence Keenan is a crisis actor. The caption falsely suggests that the women pictured are the same, despite that not being the case. (RELATED: Does This Video Show An Anti-Lockdown Protest In London?)

Liz Scott, the woman shown in the StarNow profile, is visibly younger than Keenan. Scott’s profile lists her as having brown eyes, while a video from The Guardian and a photo tweeted by the NHS shows Keenan has blue eyes. Keenan lives in Coventry, a city that is roughly 100 miles from London, where Scott lists herself as living on her StarNow profile.

The photo of the woman falling down comes from September 2020, when protesters gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest against vaccination and government COVID-19 restrictions, according to a photo from Agence France-Presse. The woman appears noticeably younger than Keenan, who advised for “anyone offered the vaccine is to take it” in an NHS press release.

Check Your Fact also found no major British media outlets reporting that Keenan works as a “crisis actor.” Keenan has been the target of a number of baseless conspiracy theories since receiving her COVID-19 vaccination, according to Vice. We rate this claim false.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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