FACT CHECK:   Did a 14-year-old girl become pregnant after receiving a flu shot?

Claim:   A 14-year-old girl became pregnant after receiving a flu shot.

  FALSE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2015]

I have come across an article on face book that states a 14 year old girl, with whom is a virgin, has fallen pregnant after a flu shot. Would love to know the truth to this!!

Origins:   On 23 September 2015 the web site World News Daily Report (WNDR) published an article titled “Texas: 14-Year Old Virgin Falls Pregnant After Flu Shot” which reported that:

A 14-year old schoolgirl has suffered serious complications after a flu shot allegedly left the young girl terribly ill and with severe cramps, until the family doctor finally realized weeks later she had been impregnated by the vaccine, reports the Forth Worth Telegram this week.

“She had all the typical symptoms of a pregnant woman. It’s not the first time a young woman falls pregnant without the consent of her parents, but the girl seemed sincere when she said she had never had sexual relations with a boy, and she urged me to check her hymen, which I eventually did, and to my utter surprise, the hymen was fully intact. It is impossible she has been impregnated by male sperm” she assures. “In my 26 years of practice, I have never heard once of such a thing as someone being impregnated by a vaccine, but I did some research and found out it is more common than most people think”.

The claim cleverly layered the suggestion of a falsehood within its own fabrication to facilitate the spread of the story; by that sleight of hand, readers surmised the girl had lied about her sexual experience and had blamed the flu vaccine to deflect suspicion about the true nature of her pregnancy.

None of this (neither the girl’s claims nor the article reporting them) was true, however. World News Daily Report is just one of many fake news sites that print fictitious articles, as noted in their disclaimer:

WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website — even those based on real people — are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.

World News Daily Report previously spread fake news stories about loggers accidentally cutting down the world’s largest tree, Yoko Ono’s admitting to an affair with Hillary Clinton, and a 179-year-old man living in India.

Last updated:   5 October 2015

Originally published:   5 October 2015