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Video of Austrian reporter collapsing predates pandemic

January 18, 2023 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows Austrian news presenter collapsing live on-air due to side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video, which captures Austrian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Rosa Lyon, was filmed on Sept. 24, 2019, before the pandemic began and well before COVID-19 shots were invented.

THE FACTS: Social media users have been linking the 2019 clip of Lyon’s collapse to the vaccine for months, and the claim resurfaced online this week.

The dramatic footage shows the reporter sitting behind a desk as she presents for the show “Zeit im Bild,” when she suddenly falls backwards.

“THEY’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES,” an Instagram user who posted the video on Tuesday wrote.

One user commented under the post that the video showed a reaction caused by “VAIDS,” short for vaccine acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. VAIDS is not a real condition, nor do COVID-19 vaccines cause a syndrome that matches that description, The Associated Press has previously reported.

The clip of Lyon was also featured in anti-vaccine film “Died Suddenly.” The film, which premiered in November, pushes several debunked vaccine claims, along with videos of people collapsing that have no link to the vaccine.

Michael Krause, a spokesperson for Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, confirmed to the AP in an email that the incident occurred in September 2019.

“There is absolutely no connection to Corona,” he wrote.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.