“We all know Shona Fergusons death is vaccination related,” reads a message posted on Facebook on 20 August 2021. “The blood clot is an indication of this.”
The message continues: “But no one is saying a word...the mere fact that its not even questioned as a possible cause is proof that it is...and if he did recieve vaccination before his death I am dissapointed by the family who dont speak to this fact to save other people who are unaware of these side effects.”
It includes a screenshot of a SABC News TV clip showing a woman in a face mask. At the bottom of the screen, banner text reads: “Investigations into 29 deaths conclude that none were caused by Covid-19 jabs.”
Did Ferguson die of blood clots caused by a Covid-19 vaccine?
Covid complications – not heart attack or blood clot
On 30 July, Ferguson Films posted an official statement announcing the actor’s death, on Instagram.
“Mr Ferguson’s untimely passing was due to Covid-19 related complications, and not a heart attack as reported by media,” the statement says.
At his funeral on 4 August, his sister-in-law Atosie Pilane said that Ferguson had been diagnosed with Covid-19 on 26 June. He was admitted to hospital with low oxygen levels on 3 July and died four weeks later.
We could find no evidence that Ferguson’s death was caused by a blood clot.
Non-fatal blood clotting in two of 477,234 vaccinations
On 13 April the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a statement recommending the Johnson & Johnson rollout be paused. This was after six women developed thrombosis, a rare and severe type of blood clotting, after getting the vaccine.
“The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older,” the agency said.
The Sisonke Study, which administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to healthcare workers in South Africa, published its early results on 6 August. Out of 477,234 healthcare workers who received the vaccine, only two cases of thrombosis were reported and both patients made a full recovery.
South African actor Shona Ferguson did not die of blood clotting caused by a Covid-19 vaccine. While cases of blood clotting have been reported following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, these cases are extremely rare.
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.