During the last 24 hours, a WhatsApp audio message has caused considerable alarm, upset and anger across Gibraltar by suggesting that a frontline worker had died shortly after having received the Covid vaccine. These feelings of ‘alarm, upset and anger’ were magnified by being circulated widely on social media.
Police officers have investigated this incident and have interviewed a local man under caution.
From the interview, it became clear that the sender of the message intended it to be seen by family members only and not by a wider audience.
The investigation also discovered that the message contained a number of important inaccuracies, namely:
- It gave an incorrect age for the deceased person
- It failed to mention that she had underlying health problems and that she worked in a care home away from Gibraltar
- It failed to mention that her cause of death was registered as being from heart disease and not from anything related to the vaccine
- She died several days after receiving the vaccine and not on the same day
On the basis of their findings, the investigating officers concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the message was sent with any malicious intent.
Members of the public are encouraged always to obtain their Covid-19 information from official sources, such as HM Government of Gibraltar and the GHA, and not to believe everything they read on social media.