FACT CHECK: Do These Photos Show A Nurse Administering The First COVID-19 Vaccine At Two Hospitals 200 Miles Apart?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows the same nurse administering COVID-19 vaccines to the first patients in the U.K. at hospitals 200 miles apart on the same day.

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The patients were vaccinated by the same nurse at the same hospital on Dec. 8.

Fact Check:

Grandmother Margaret Keenan on Dec. 8 became the first person in the U.K. and the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial, the National Health Service said on Twitter. 81-year-old William Shakespeare was the vaccine’s second non-trial recipient, according to Newsweek.

The Facebook post juxtaposes two photos: one showing Shakespeare receiving the vaccine with an LBC headline that reads: “William Shakespeare from Warwickshire First Man to Receive The COVID Vaccine,” and the other showing Keenan receiving the vaccine with text that reads, “Margaret Kennan, from Coventry, had the first coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine this morning.” The nurse administering the vaccines is the same in both pictures.

In the caption, the Facebook user attempts to suggest that the photos show the nurse “in two different hospitals 200 miles apart.” Since Dec. 8, viral social media posts spreading baseless conspiracy theories suggesting that Keenan, Shakespeare and the nurse are crisis actors, according to USA Today(RELATED: Viral Post Falsely Claims The First UK COVID-19 Vaccine Recipient Is A Crisis Actor)

While both vaccine recipients were, according to The New York Times, vaccinated by May Parsons, they were not vaccinated in hospitals 200 miles apart. Keenan and Shakespeare both received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry, England, the Washington Post reported. Photos taken by Jacob King for The Associated Press show Parsons vaccinating Keenan and Shakespeare at the hospital on Dec. 8.

The U.K. administered more than 130,000 COVID-19 vaccines in the first week of the vaccine program, BBC News reported. Vaccines in the U.K. are being offered first to populations seen as having a greater risk of dying from the disease, including care facility residents, people over 80 years old and health care workers.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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