Hyderabad: A vaccine trial on humans for the novel Coronavirus was started in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2020. Developed by a group of scientists at the Oxford University, almost 800 volunteers were reported to be a part of this groundbreaking trial on humans.
Elisa Granato, a postdoctoral microbiology researcher in the zoology department at Oxford University, was one of the two volunteers who were injected with the vaccine on Thursday. However, a fake news is circulating online stating that the first volunteer in the UK's corona vaccine trial has died.
N5ti.com, an online news portal, reported that Elisa Granato died two days after the vaccine was administered to her.
"Elisa Granato, the first volunteer from Oxford, who volunteered for a jab in the first human trial of a vaccine in Europe, has died. She died two days after the vaccine was administered, authorities said and added that an investigation into the cause of the death was initiated," the report said.
It also said, "four other volunteers are said to be battling complications due to adverse reactions of the vaccine."
This article was also going viral on social media.
When NewsMeter did a fact check with simple google search on the above news article, we found a tweet by BBC's medical correspondent Fergus Walsh who claimed he had spoken to Dr Granato over Skype in the morning on April 26, 2020.
"Fake news has been circulating on social media that the first volunteer in the Oxford vaccine trial has died. This is not true! I spent several minutes this morning chatting with Elisa Granato via Skype. She is very much alive and told me she was feeling "absolutely fine", he said.
Fergus Walsh later posted a video of Dr Granato saying that she was "very much alive" and "having a cup of tea".
The medical correspondent had covered the vaccine trial on the duo for BBC on April 23, 2020. (https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52394485)
The UK's Department of Health and Social Care also tweeted that the report was completely untrue.
Further, in a press note published on their website, the Oxford Vaccine Trial said, "We are aware there have been and will be rumours and false reports about the progress of the trial. We urge people not to give these any credibility and not to circulate them. We will not be offering a running commentary about the trial but all official updates will appear on this site."
Hence, with a video of Dr Elisa herself confirming she is "much alive" coming out, it can be concluded that the reports of her death are false.