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In January 2022, a rumor started circulating on social media that a 7-year-old girl named Allison Coleman had died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in Australia. A photograph supposedly showing her was widely spread on Twitter and Facebook, dozens of websites even published obituaries. But is this rumor true? Is there any evidence to support this claim?
We have not been able to find a single piece of evidence to even suggest this rumor is true. Let’s walk through some of the steps we took to unpack the claim.
Where Does This Claim Come From?
Many people on social media encountered this rumor in the form of a meme on Facebook. One of the first examples of it was posted in the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 2021. The graphic featured the words “Pfizer Victim” at the top, the alleged victim’s name, a photograph, and the claim that an “innocent vibrant, healthy 7 year old girl dropped after Covid Vaccine in NSW [Australia]” on Jan. 11.
Is This Information Verified? No.
A Facebook meme is not a credible source of information. In order to verify the claim, we looked for news reports from credible media outlets, statements from this child’s family, hospital records, an an official obituary, or any other information (such as where she received this vaccination, where she lived, who her parents were, or the hospital where she was treated). As this death supposedly took place in Australia, we also searched on Australian news websites such as news.com.au and abc.net.au.
Our search, however, came up empty-handed.
What About the Obituaries?
What we did find were a number of haphazard articles published on “obituary” websites, such as death-obituary.com and deathmilitia.com. These are not official obituaries. In fact, these articles did little more than repeat what was already circulating on Facebook.
It’s also worth noting that death-obituary.com, one of the first websites to pick up on this claim, is an American website, not an Australian one. Furthermore, the majority of the websites reporting this news (and there were dozens) openly admitted that this information was unverified. A widely shared article from GetIndiaNews, for example, stated: “Due to the lack of information on the authenticity of the report, we were not able to verify any single information.”
A Reverse-Image Search
Searching for “Allison Coleman” provided us with no additional information, so we also attempted to find the source of this image. We plugged it into reverse-search engines (TinEye, Google Images, Bing Images, Yandex, and Baidu) but were unable to find any matches.
Did Allison Die From a COVID-19 Vaccine?
We found no evidence to support this claim.
This rumor stems from an unsourced Facebook meme. We weren’t able to find any news reports about this alleged incident, nor any statements from this person’s family.