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Claims that Tennessee nurse died after vaccine are baseless

December 21, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Tiffany Dover, a nurse manager in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who fainted after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, is now dead.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Claims of Dover’s death have no basis in reality. She was alive and working a shift at CHI Memorial Hospital on Monday, according to Lisa McCluskey, the hospital’s vice president of marketing communications.

THE FACTS: Groundless theories continue to circulate online about a nurse who fainted after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, despite confirmation from the hospital that she is alive and well.

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Over the weekend, social media users widely shared Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube posts claiming Dover died. The claim also appeared on Reddit, on a subreddit devoted to conspiracy theories, and on a website claiming to show obituaries of deceased people.

Some posts used screenshots of Dover’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to claim she must be dead because she hadn’t posted in several days.

Others shared screenshots from a public records website, suggesting the appearance of Dover’s name in search results somehow indicated she had died.

These claims are bogus, McCluskey confirmed to The Associated Press. Dover was doing well and working a shift at the hospital on Monday, McCluskey said.

Dover received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday and fainted on camera several minutes later. When she was back on her feet, she told reporters she has a condition that can cause her to faint when she feels pain.

“It’s common for me,” she told reporters. “I feel fine now.”

Two days later, CHI Memorial Hospital tweeted to confirm Dover was fine.

“UPDATE: Nurse Tiffany Dover appreciates the concern shown for her,” the tweet read. “She is home and doing well. She asks for privacy for her and her family.”

In another tweet on Monday, the hospital confirmed Dover was still doing well and shared a video of the nurse posing with colleagues on Monday afternoon.

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The CDC offers guidance on fainting after vaccination, which can be common. It says that although fainting has a variety of possible causes, “it is usually triggered by pain or anxiety.”

The AP has debunked other misinformation circulating online about the first people in the United States to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including false claims that an Alabama nurse died after getting the shot.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536