September 13, 2022

Over the years, PolitiFact has debunked several death hoaxes about Queen Elizabeth II, but on Sept. 8, Buckingham Palace announced that she had died at age 96.

The royal family has not specified a cause of death, but on Twitter, unfounded claims that her passing is connected to the COVID-19 vaccine proliferated.

“The Covid vaccines target old people, look at the queen,” one tweet said.

“The queen was poisoned with vaccine,” another said.

Here’s what we know.

The palace said “the queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” Elizabeth spent several weeks each summer at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and the palace announced hours before her death that she was under medical supervision there.

Her son, now King Charles III, said in a statement posted on Twitter that he and his family “mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.” He didn’t mention the COVID-19 vaccine.

Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip, were first vaccinated against COVID-19 in January 2021. She tested positive for COVID-19 about a year later. News reports then noted that she had been fully vaccinated and received a booster shot by the time of her diagnosis.

In the months since, media reported on health issues affecting the queen — especially COVID-19 — but there was nothing about a vaccine endangering her life.

Older adults are more likely to get severely sick from COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and people 65 and older who received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines showed a 94% reduced risk of being hospitalized because of the disease. Studies have shown that the vaccines are safe and that severe side effects, including death, are rare.

Claims that the queen died because of the COVID-19 vaccine lack evidence. We rate them False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Ciara O'Rourke is a contributing writer for PolitiFact. Previously, Ciara covered local government and public safety for the Austin American-Statesman and fact-checked elected officials and…
Ciara O'Rourke

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