The moment was captured on live TV on 17 December by news network WRCB Chattanooga. Social media went into a frenzy, claiming Dover had died.
Some tweeted that the nurse’s family was “trying desperately to get the word out to people to not take the vaccine” but “the media” was blocking their attempts.
Others linked to an article by the Australian National Review, a news site known to publish conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, titled: “Is Tiffany Dover dead? Murder by lethal injection timeline.”
Dover got her first vaccine shot at Chattanooga’s Catholic Hospital Initiatives Memorial Hospital, where she worked.
On 11 December the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became the first Covid-19 vaccine the Food and Drug Administration authorised for distribution in the US.
But did the vaccine kill Dover six days later?
Interview after incident
In fact, Dover spoke to WRCB Chattanooga shortly after she fainted. In a clip posted on YouTube, she explained that a condition called vasovagal syncope frequently caused her to faint when in any kind of pain.
She said even a little pain – from a hangnail or stubbing her toe – could make her faint, and that she could usually feel an episode coming.
This didn’t stop the viral conspiracy theories. Screenshots started circulating on Facebook, appearing to show a 30-year-old “Tiffany Dover” listed on a county death records database. But Tiffany Dover is a common name, and there is no evidence this is the same woman as the nurse.
Clear message: Dover not dead
On 20 December CHI Memorial Hospital posted a YouTube video of Dover alive, well and back at work with her colleagues.
The hospital has since made all its social media accounts private. In a statement, it explained why.
“Our efforts must now turn to caring for an ever growing number of people in our community hospitalised with Covid-19 and vaccinating our caregivers and support staff. We will not be putting out any additional statements or holding any additional interviews concerning this incident.”
It directed anyone with concerns about Covid-19 vaccines to speak to their doctor or visit the Centers for Disease Control website.
Several news organisations have debunked the rumours of Dover’s death. USA Today confirmed that according to CHI Memorial Hospital, she was alive and well. Irish newspaper the Journal quoted the hospital saying: “She never lost consciousness and quickly recovered.”
There is no evidence that Dover died from the Pfizer vaccine, and plenty showing her alive and at work.
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