Trust Index: Did a Tennessee nurse really die after getting the coronavirus vaccine?

Stock image of a syringe.
Stock image of a syringe. (HeungSoon/Pixabay)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Several anti-vaccine social media posts are circulating around the internet claiming the new COVID-19 vaccine made a Tennessee critical care nurse faint shortly after getting the shot.

According to WRCB-TV, six nurses at CHI Memorial Hospital in the Chattanooga area were vaccinated, including critical care nurse Tiffany Dover, who experienced a fainting spell a few minutes after the vaccination.

She was surrounded by CHI Memorial medical personnel who assisted in administering the shot. A press conference from WRCB showed Dover receiving the vaccine when she suddenly dropped down to the floor.

Reaction from social media

Social media was quick to react to the nurse’s passing out, saying that Dover had died on the spot. Some of the posts also claimed that the vaccine is unsafe for humans after the video began circulating of Dover fainting began circulating on Facebook. The clip does not show her quick recovery.

The widely-shared video has already racked up more than 2,400 views, generating many “anti-vaccine” comments.

“Wow! And then you add the lack of O2 from wearing a mask on top of the vaccine,” said one of the comments. “But I’m sure they’ll say it’s not the shot.”

Statement from the hospital

Dover explained to both WRCB and in a statement from CHI Memorial Hospital that her fainting was due to Over-Reactive Vagal Response, which makes her faint after experiencing pain from things such as stubbing a toe or a hangnail.

The hospital cited the CDC on their statement that between 3% and 3.5% of patients do experience fainting after getting any vaccine, not just the new COVID-19 vaccine. They also believe that fainting is most likely part of the vaccination process and not a reaction from the vaccine.

A tweet from the hospital’s Twitter account said on Saturday Dover is “doing just fine at home and is requesting privacy for her and for her family.”

Trust Index

We’re giving this claim a “not true” rating. While the nurse did pass out after receiving the vaccine, she said fainting wasn’t because of the shot. The nurse also made a full recovery.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?


About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.