Nurse who fainted after COVID-19 vaccine shot is not dead

AAP FactCheck December 30, 2020

The Statement

A hospital nurse who fainted after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination dose in the US has become the focus of online claims the shot caused her to collapse – and that she may have since died.

A December 19 Facebook post from a New Zealand-managed page features a video capturing the moment the nurse, Tiffany Dover, was helped to the ground after becoming unsteady during an interview.

Earlier, she could be seen talking to news reporters about how she was “excited to get the vaccine”. The video then shows her touching her forehead and appearing to faint before two men rush to her aid.

The post’s caption reads, “CCU Nurse at CHI Memorial in Tennessee loses consciousness on air during interview after recieving (sic) covid vaccination but doctors say it was not because what was in the vaccine. ?? #notomandatoryvaccinations #plandemic”.

Another post, shared on December 21 by a user in Australia to the Facebook group “Justice for Tiffany Points Dover RIP”, reads: “Sad as it is.. a reasonable person would have to conclude that Tiffany is dead.

“Her FB account is now deleted. A person who is a career caregiver does not play games with people who only desire her best. The ‘evidence’ to the contrary that I have seen posted here is weak hearsay at best.

“Shutting up family members with death threats is precisely the sort of skullduggery that the deep state / big pharma participate in. Sooner or later I expect that the truth will come out.”

Variations of the same claims have been shared widely across social media, with multiple groups set up in relation to the nurse’s purported death or disappearance (see additional example here).

Facebook post
 Facebook posts are speculating on the health of a nurse who collapsed after a COVID-19 vaccine shot. 

The Analysis

While nurse Tiffany Dover fainted after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, there is no evidence this was caused by the contents of the injection – and she has been filmed alive and well since the incident was captured on camera.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorised the emergency use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 11, while a week later it issued a similar authorisation for the Moderna vaccine.

Since then, many high-profile US figures, including Vice President Mike Pence, president-elect Joe Biden and the top US infectious diseases advisor, Dr Anthony Fauci, have been shown on television receiving vaccine doses.

Under the US vaccine distribution schedule, healthcare professionals and long-term care facility residents were allocated initial supplies of the treatments.

On December 18, local media broadcast vision of six healthcare workers at CHI Memorial in Chattanooga, Tennessee, receiving their vaccinations, including nurse Tiffany Dover (video mark 9min 30sec).

Around 17 minutes later, Ms Dover is seen responding to questions from journalists, however she begins touching her forehead during the interview before losing her balance and being helped to ground (video mark 26min 50sec).

In separate news footage, she addresses the incident, saying: “I have a history of having an overactive vagal response, and so with that, if I have pain from anything – hangnail, or if I stub a toe, I can just pass out.

“I feel fine now and the pain in my arm is really minimal actually, but it doesn’t take much … and I have passed out probably six times in the past six weeks, it’s common for me.”

Dr Jesse L. Tucker, a physician at CHI Memorial, is also filmed talking about the incident, adding: “I think that she got a shot in the arm and it made her feel a little lightheaded, and she’s recovered now. It’s happened before apparently.

“It is a reaction that can happen very frequently with any vaccine, with a shot of any kind. There’s no reason to suspect that that’s due to the vaccine whatsoever.”

CHI Memorial released a statement after the incident saying the nurse “became dizzy and was assisted to the floor”, adding: “She never lost consciousness and quickly recovered.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are many medical procedures that can cause people to faint – including the administration of many types of vaccines.

“Although fainting has a variety of possible causes, it is usually triggered by pain or anxiety,” the CDC says.

Some social media users, however, picked up on the video to wrongly suggest that Ms Dover had died following the injection.

Many of the claims centred on videos that showed listings from sources such as genealogy website and US public records database SearchQuarry as purported evidence of the nurse’s death.

However, these websites do not provide proof that Ms Dover has died. In a video showing a SearchQuarry query, for example, the narrator uses as evidence of her death a listing on the website for a Tiffany Pontes Dover in Alabama that cites “DeKalb County Death Records database” as a potential information source.

But the video does not show any official reports or records of Ms Dover’s claimed death. AAP FactCheck performed the same search as seen in the video for entrepreneur Elon Musk, to pick a high-profile living figure as an example, and SearchQuarry similarly returned multiple potential results from various “death records databases”.

Another video shows an entry for a Tiffany Pontes in Alabama that lists her death as occurring in 2020.

An spokesman told AAP FactCheck via email that any user can create a new family tree and add individuals’ birth and death dates, among other details. “Ancestry does not verify this information,” he said.

CHI Memorial Hospital has repeatedly confirmed that the nurse is fine and well, including in a December 22 video.

The video caption reads, “We’re pleased to share Tiffany Dover is doing well. Here’s a video of her today surrounded by her colleagues who all support her.”

Similar false claims about Ms Dover’s purported death have been debunked here, here and here.

The Verdict

There is no evidence that Tiffany Dover, the nurse who fainted after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine dose, collapsed due to the contents of the injection. She stated that she was prone to fainting, which medical authorities say is a common response to all types of injections.

Since the incident, the hospital has repeatedly confirmed that she is alive and well – not dead as claimed in some posts – and she has appeared in additional footage from the facility four days after she was filmed collapsing.

False – Content that has no basis in fact.

Updated Tuesday, January 5, 2020 12.29 AEDT: Additional information included on videos purportedly showing records relating to Ms Dover’s death.

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