No, The First Volunteer In The UK’s Vaccine Trials Hasn’t Died
Fake news stories claiming that a participant in a study at Oxford had died first emerged on Saturday. Several websites purporting to be news organisations have shared stories claiming that Elisa Granato, who was one of the first people to receive the trial vaccine, had died after becoming involved with the study at Oxford University.
Posts have also emerged on Facebook, where they have been shared in conspiracy theory and anxti-vaxxer groups in multiple languages.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) tweeted on Sunday afternoon: “News circulating on social media that the first volunteer in a UK coronavirus vaccine trial has died is completely untrue”.
Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, the 32-year-old microbiologist said she was “excited” to join the effort to find a vaccine, adding:
“Since I don’t study viruses, I felt a bit useless these days, so I felt like this is a very easy way for me to support the cause.”