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FACT CHECK: Did CNN Publish Images Of The First UK COVID-19 Vaccine Recipient In October?

A post shared on Facebook claims images of the first person in the U.K. to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial were published by CNN in October.

Verdict: False

Images of the patient’s vaccination weren’t published before Dec. 8, a reverse image search shows. The claim appears to have stemmed from people seeing the clip appear in the video player embedded in the old CNN article when they accessed the article after Dec. 8.

Fact Check:

Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, became the first person in the U.K. and the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial on Dec. 8, according to the National Health Service. Since receiving the vaccine, Keenan has been the subject of several baseless conspiracy theories, USA Today reported.

This particular post uses two screen grabs – one of an Oct. 22 CNN article and one of a Dec. 8 BBC News article – to falsely allege that images of Keenan receiving the COVID-19 vaccine were published by CNN before her vaccination took place. The screen grab of the CNN article shows a still from a video depicting Keenan receiving the injection.

“Excuse me, but how is the exact same person who’s the ‘first to get vaccinated’ today in BBC photo… also in a CNN photo wearing the exact same clothes, in the exact same chair, with the exact same nurse, getting a shot back in November?” reads the caption. (RELATED: Viral Post Claims A Vaccine Stored At -80 Degrees ‘Isn’t A Vaccine’ And Is Meant For ‘Genetic Manipulation’)

The CNN clip that the screen grab shows first aired on Dec. 8, the same day Keenan got the vaccine, according to the video clip editing service Grabien. The Oct. 22 CNN story covers a report that estimated between 130,000 and 210,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could have been prevented if the federal government’s pandemic response had been different. The article does not mention Keenan or include any photos of her.

CNN embeds a video player below the headlines in some articles that allows users to watch videos about different, often recent news stories. The claim likely stemmed from people seeing the clip appear in the video player embedded in the old article when they accessed the article after Dec. 8. Versions of the Oct. 22 CNN story archived in October and November do not show the video of Keenan in the video player.

In a Tineye reverse image search, Check Your Fact didn’t find any record of images of Keenan receiving the vaccine being published before Dec. 8.

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