Nurse May Parsons (R) administers the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine to Margaret Keenan (L), 90, at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 making Keenan the first person to receive the vaccine in the country's biggest ever immunisation programme. (AFP / Jacob King)

False claim circulates on Facebook about British grandmother who received UK’s first Covid-19 vaccine outside clinical trials

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Photos of a 90-year-old British grandmother who became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial have been shared repeatedly in multiple misleading Facebook posts in December 2020. The posts claim the woman in the photos was previously pictured receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in a CNN news report in October 2020, at least two months before the UK vaccination drive started. The claim is false; the CNN report was actually published on December 8, 2020, and the photos of the 90-year-old woman corresponds with multiple news reports published the same day.

The photo was shared by a Philippines-based Facebook user here on December 9, 2020.

A screenshot of the misleading post, taken on December 14, 2020

The photo’s Tagalog-language caption translates to English in part as: "Great, not obvious it's RECYCLED NEWS!"

The woman pictured in the post is Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old British grandmother who received the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial on December 8, 2020, as AFP reported here. AFP also published the photo of the December 8 vaccination here.   

The post purports to show a CNN report and a BBC report about Keenan receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. The post claims the CNN report was published on October 22, 2020, while suggesting the BBC report was published on December 8, 2020, casting doubt on the UK vaccination drive. 

Identical photos were shared on Facebook here, here and here by users worldwide alongside a similar claim.

The screenshots were also shared on Twitter here with a similar claim.

The claim is false. 

The CNN report shown in the social medias was published here. While the report’s date stamp shows October 22, 2020, the video of Keenan is actually from December 8, 2020. 

The website displays a carousel of videos, which allows new videos to sometimes appear above older news reports. 

A screenshot of the CNN report, taken on December 11, 2020

The video of Keenan was published separately here by CNN. The article’s URL bears the date December 8, 2020, consistent with the start of the UK vaccination drive. 

The BBC report shown in the misleading posts was published here on December 8, 2020.

A screenshot of the BBC report, taken on December 14, 2020

Keenan’s vaccination was also reported on here by AFP and here by the Associated Press. 

The misleading claim was also debunked here by AFP Fact Check in German here.