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Irish agency says poster listing ‘death’ as COVID vaccine side effect is fake

October 20, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: An official government poster from Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority says sudden death is a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The poster is a fake and was not sent out by the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing a photo of a poster that they claim shows an official Ireland government health notice on the COVID-19 vaccines.

The yellow poster, which says it is from the Health Products Regulatory Authority, lists several supposed side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, including sudden death.

“This is an official Irish government notice regarding vaccination,” one post being shared online with the poster said. “Sudden death is a side effect.”

Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority confirmed to the AP that the poster was fabricated. Siobhan Molloy, a spokesperson for the agency, said in an email that the poster was not produced by the country’s regulatory authority.

“I can categorically state this is not an HPRA produced poster – or indeed a piece of communication produced by the Health Service Executive (HSE) who on behalf of the Irish Department of Health produce advice information,” she said.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority is responsible for regulating medicines and devices that are used on people and animals.

“We use our scientific and clinical expertise to review and monitor health products available in Ireland or exported abroad,” the agency says on its site.

While the poster was designed to look official, Molloy said the “’people of Ireland” logo does not exist and is not representative of the authority either.

Death is not listed as a side effect from the vaccine by the Ireland Health Service Executive agency. In its official informational pamphlets for the vaccine, the agency says the COVID-19 vaccine can “protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by the virus.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and numerous health officials have found the vaccines, which have undergone clinical trials and been administered to millions in the U.S., to be safe and effective.


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.