On June 13, 2021, the website Italy24News.com reported that a 12-year-old named Cloe Giani Giavazzi died from a sudden illness at her home in Milan (translated via Google and edited for clarity):
The news of the death of Cloe Giani Giavazzi represents a real bolt out of the blue and inevitably generates a state of shock as soon as you come across her age: 12 years. A little girl, practically, who lost her life yesterday, Saturday 12 June 2021, following a sudden illness that hit her at home in Milan.
While this Italy24News.com report made absolutely no mention of COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccinations, this article started circulating on social media attached to the claim that this promising tennis star had died from a vaccination:
There have been no credible reports that this budding tennis star received a COVID-19 vaccination, let alone that a vaccination was responsible for her death. This claim is based purely on fear-mongering speculation.
The Golarsa Tennis Academy, where Giavazzi played, also made no mention of the pandemic, COVID-19, or vaccinations in their announcement about the young tennis player's death.
We also checked local news reports about Giavazzi's death from Italy24News.com, MilanToday, Ruetir, and occhionotizie.it and found no mention of COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccinations. Another version of this unfounded rumor was spread on social media using a screenshot of a report from notizie.it. Again, however, the actual news report on notizie.it made no mention of COVID-19 or a vaccination. Social media users simply attached their own fabricated claims about this child's death to this screenshot and shared it as if they were reporting genuine news:
The website DeadDeath.com also published an obituary for Giavazzi, spreading the unfounded claim that she died after receiving a vaccination. What was DeadDeath.com's source for this information? The aforementioned Twitter posts that spread fictional claims about the death. It's worth noting that DeadDeath.com has repeatedly published "obituaries" that were based on false internet rumors.
The claim that Giavazzi died from a COVID-19 vaccination is likely based on the fact that the European Union recently approved vaccinations for children between the ages of 12 and 15. While this is true, there's no evidence that these two events — the approval of a vaccine and the death of a child — are connected. In fact, it is highly unlikely that Giavazzi even received a vaccination.
After vaccinating frontline workers, Italy has been working to vaccinate its population starting with its oldest citizens. While the vaccine may have been approved for use, the country has not (as of this writing) administered vaccines to children. The Ministry of Health of Italy writes on its websites:
After vaccinating health and social care workers, staff, and residents of residential facilities for the elderly, the vaccination campaign will continue with the population over 80 years of age. Next, extremely vulnerable people, i.e., those with diseases or disabilities that present a particularly high risk of developing severe or fatal forms of COVID-19, will be vaccinated. They will be followed by people aged 70-79 and people with at least one chronic comorbidity.
With the arrival of new vaccines and the increase in the number of doses currently available, people aged between 18 and 55 will also be vaccinated, starting with teachers and school staff, the armed forces and the police forces, prison staff and inmates, community places and other essential services.
While Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccination has been approved for use in children as young as 12 in Italy (as well as in the United States and several other countries), Italy is still prioritizing vaccines for the older population.
The Local reports:
Italy has prioritised vaccinations based on age and vulnerability, giving the jabs first to older age groups and those considered at high risk because of medical conditions.
The country’s health campaign differs from area to area as the local health authority manages the vaccination campaign. This means that while everyone over 16 can book their jab from Thursday, some parts of the country simply aren’t ready for this age bracket yet.
Most regions of Italy currently still have older adults and others most at risk in their sights. Meanwhile, some regional health authorities have already opened reservations to over-30s, high schoolers about to graduate, or even everyone over 18.
In short, while the exact cause of Giavazzi's death has not been announced, there has been no credible reporting that it was linked to a COVID-19 vaccination.