One of the first people to be injected as part of UK human trials for a coronavirus vaccine has said she is “doing fine”, after a fake article about her death was circulated on social media.
The article claims that microbiologist Dr Elisa Granato, who took part in the trial in Oxford on Thursday, had died following complications after taking the vaccine.
The government later said the article was “completely untrue”, and warned people about sharing unsubstantiated claims online.
Granato was one of two people to take part in the trial, and said she was excited to support the efforts by volunteering.
Following the article about her “death”, she tweeted about the news before making her Twitter account private. She wrote: “Nothing like waking up to a fake article on your death … I’m doing fine everyone.”
On Sunday afternoon, the Department of Health and Social Care tweeted: “News circulating on social media that the first volunteer in a UK coronavirus vaccine trial has died is completely untrue.
“Before sharing unsubstantiated claims online, use the Share checklist to help stop the spread of harmful content.”
Earlier this month, the government relaunched its Don’t Feed the Beast public information campaign to encourage people to question what they read online. The Share checklist includes basic advice such as checking the source of a story and analysing the facts before sharing.
Source: Guardian Newspaper