Nova Scotia

N.S. top doc says anti-vaxx video claiming girl's heart stopped after vaccine is false

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health says an anti-vaxx video posted on Facebook that claims a Halifax girl was hospitalized after getting a vaccine is not true.

Facebook video has been viewed more than 106,000 times in 24 hours

Dr. Strang: Facebook video about teen who got vaccine is false

1 year ago
Duration 1:16
Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health is warning that a viral Facebook video claiming a N.S. teen's heart stopped after receiving the vaccine is false and an example of misinformation on social media.

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health says an anti-vaccination video claiming a 13-year-old girl was hospitalized in Halifax because her heart stopped after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a "false story."

Dr. Robert Strang said he is aware of the video that garnered more than 106,000 views in 24 hours, but the claims in it are not true.

"There's nothing at all to suggest that this is actually an event that actually occurred," he said.

The video was created and shared on Facebook on Thursday by a woman who claims her daughter's friend is in critical care after getting a COVID-19 vaccine because her heart repeatedly stopped. 

The woman goes on to make several unfounded claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and encourages viewers to spread her message.

Strang said Friday that neither Emergency Health Services nor the IWK Health Centre is aware of any events taking place similar to what's reported in the video, and that "some other information would lead us to believe that this is a false story."

The post has received more than 100 comments expressing support, including some sharing anti-vaccination views.

'Where's the evidence?'

Strang said he encourages people who view the video to think critically.

"I would push back and say, 'Well, where's the evidence that this actually happened?'"

Strang said it's not time to create misinformation or false narratives about the vaccines.

"It's just not helpful. And people who put this type of misinformation out, they're actually harming other people."

He urged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

"It's really important that everybody who can get vaccinated is vaccinated. The vaccines are effective. The vaccines are safe. Millions of people around the world have been immunized, and … we can absolutely with certainty say they're safe and effective."

The CBC sent the woman a message asking for contact information for the family, but the woman did not reply.

A spokesperson for Facebook told the CBC on Monday that the video has been removed.

"Our team reviewed the content and removed it for violating our misinformation and harm policies," said an email from David Troya-Alvarez.

Troya-Alvarez did not indicate whether the video or the woman's entire Facebook page was removed by Facebook. The page where the video was posted is no longer publicly available.

with files from Carsten Knox