A viral hoax making the rounds on social media claimed that Tiffany Dover, the nurse who gained fame for fainting after she received the coronavirus vaccine on live television, had died.
Dover captured national attention this week when cameras showed her growing dizzy in the moments after she was first injected by a medical professional, then collapsing to the floor. In the wake of the incident, many took to Twitter and other social media to share what was purported to be a screenshot of a website showing that she was listed as deceased. There was no explanation as to how she had supposedly died, though many of those posting appeared to connect it to her vaccination.
A Tennessee nurse fainted 17 minutes after receiving the covid-19 vaccine ???? Tiffany Dover is fine now but revealed she has a medicinal condition where she often faints when she feels pain. Doctors also said the episode was not related to the vaccine ????pic.twitter.com/CHcZBXqAnd
— Power 106 (@Power106LA) December 18, 2020
But Dover’s employer took to Twitter to debunk the rumors, posting on Saturday that she was doing well and staying at home.
“UPDATE: Nurse Tiffany Dover appreciates the concern shown for her. She is home and doing well. She asks for privacy for her and her family,” tweeted health care provider CHI Memorial.
There were indications immediately after the incident that Dover was doing well and did not suffer any serious complications. As KHOU reported, the nurse shared afterward that she has a medical condition that can sometimes cause her to faint when she feels pain, and doctors afterward said there was no reason for alarm. The report added that doctors typically keep patients for 15 to 30 minutes after administering the vaccination to keep an eye out for issues like the one Dover faced.
It was not clear exactly how the death rumors started, though officials have noted an uptick in misinformation regarding the vaccine in recent days. As USA Today reported, a number of social media sites have been cracking down on this misinformation, including claims that the vaccines can intentionally cause harm.
“In the context of a global pandemic, vaccine misinformation presents a significant and growing public health challenge,” Twitter said in a blog post.
“Starting next week, we will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and during the coming weeks, begin to label Tweets that contain potentially misleading information about the vaccines.”
The report noted that a survey taken in recent weeks showed conspiracy theories have built up some mistrust toward the virus, with 44 percent of respondents saying they believe there is some truth to the claim that the death rate from COVID-19 has been exaggerated — which public health experts have said is not true.