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Teen’s death in England misrepresented by vaccine opponents

October 7, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Adam Ali, a high school student from Solihull, a town in West Midlands, England, died from the COVID-19 vaccine.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Ali, a 17-year-old student who died in September, had not been vaccinated against COVID-19. The cause of death is unknown, according to a spokesperson from the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS.

THE FACTS: As England ramps up efforts to vaccinate children over 12, social media users have been sharing misinformation about the shots. A series of tweets this week misrepresented Ali’s death and falsely claimed the teenager had died from blood clots that developed after he was vaccinated.

“Adam Ali 17 years old from Alderbrook school, had his first jab, had instant adverse reaction, convulsing, blood clots,” a false tweet claims, adding “he died the other day within two weeks and not a word from the media.”

Ali, a student at Alderbrook Sixth Form in Solihull, died at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Sept. 19. Local media in Birmingham, who spoke to Ali’s family members, reported a CT scan showed blood in his lungs.

“We can confirm that Adam did not have a COVID-19 vaccination; the cause of his tragic death is currently unknown,” a spokesperson for the Birmingham and Solihull vaccination program at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS, said in an emailed statement.

Vaccines for 16 and 17-year-olds first became available in England in August. A roll out to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds began on Sept. 20.

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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.