There are several vaccines being tested during the COVID-19 Pandemic around the world. Amidst this, an online news website claimed on Sunday that the first volunteer for a human trial of the coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom has died. According to the article Dr Elisa Granato, one of the first participants in the UK’s human trials of a possible vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has died shortly after being injected with the vaccine. You can also find another news report claiming the same.
We started our investigation and found that The BBC’s medical correspondent Fergus Walsh, who covered the beginning of the vaccine trial, wrote on Twitter that he had spoken to Dr Granato over Skype that morning. He wrote “Fake news has been circulating on social media that the first volunteer in the Oxford vaccine trial has died. This is not true! I spent several minutes this morning chatting with Elisa Granato via Skype. She is very much alive and told me she is feeling “absolutely fine”
Further he wrote that Dr Granato had reasured her family that she was alive in case they saw the reports of her death. He later posted a video of Dr Granato saying that she was “very much alive” and “having a cup of tea”. BBC has posted a news on the same.
We also found a tweet by UK’s department of health and social care who has debunked this false news and tweeted, “News circulating on social media that the first volunteer in a UK #coronavirus vaccine trial has died is completely untrue.”
Oxford Vaccine Trial gave a clarification statement on their website said: “We are aware there have been and will be rumours and false reports about the progress of the trial. We urge people not to give these any credibility and not to circulate them. We will not be offering a running commentary about the trial but all official updates will appear on this site.”
We have also found a Google cache tweet by Dr. Elisa Granato clarifying that she read the news about her death which is false.
The websites that have spread the false reports of Dr Granato’s death are not recognised news outlets and do not provide any credible or reputable sources or evidence for their claims. We can also spot several grammatical errors in the news article. It also quotes statements by researchers who have no online existence.
Conclusion- We found the above article to be False. The first volunteer for a human trial of the coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom has not died. It has been clarified by her through a video message.
Title:The first volunteer of UK Coronavirus Vaccine Trial is alive!Fact Check By: Aavya Ray