Back to Africa Check

No, 13 children didn’t die from Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa, video shows children killed in stampede in Kenya

“South Africa 13 Children have died from the Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccines in their School and No News Media Coverage!” says a tweet posted on 27 October 2021. 

The tweet includes a video of the bodies of children in light green and yellow uniforms laid out in a row on the floor. Around them stand adults who are screaming and crying. It is not clear who took the video or where it was filmed. 

The claim has been posted multiple times on Twitter. But how did these children die? We investigated. 


Video of aftermath of stampede in Kenya

A reverse image search reveals that the video first started circulating online in March 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and months before vaccines against the disease were developed. 

It was falsely reported that the video showed children in Nigeria who had died after eating poisoned food at a birthday party.

But the video was actually taken in Kenya. On 3 February media outlet NTV Kenya reported that 13 school children had been killed and 40 others injured in a stampede at Kakamega Primary School in Nairobi. 

The children in the TV report are wearing the same light green uniforms. Another video report published by Africa News shows children at a hospital in the same uniforms. 

The incident was widely reported by local and international media outlets.

No mandatory vaccines in South Africa

South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine programme includes the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer jabs. But South Africa’s government has not made vaccination mandatory. Some businesses have decided that employees must be vaccinated.

In October 2021, the country’s health department opened up the vaccination rollout to children aged 12 to 17 years. But we could find no evidence that any schools have made Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for students and the 13 children shown in the viral video did not die from receiving the vaccine.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.