Claims Christian Eriksen's collapse was linked to Covid-19 Vaccine are FFS 8

Claims Christian Eriksen’s collapse was linked to Covid-19 Vaccine are FFS

Ferret Fact Service | Scotland's impartial fact check project

Hours after Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed during a Euro 2020 game last Saturday claims started appearing on social media linking his illness to the Covid-19 vaccine.

One claim, which was shared thousands of times on Twitter and added to other social media sites such as Instagram, was posted by Czech theoretical physicist, Luboš Motl.

In the post Motl claimed that Eriksen, who plays for Italian team Inter Milan, “had received the Pfizer vaccine on May 31st”. Motl linked to another post that said the claim had been verified by Inter Milan’s chief medic and a cardiologist on an Italian radio station called Radio Sportiva.

Ferret Fact Service looked at the claim and found it FFS.

Evidence

Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s June 12 fixture with Finland. Motl’s claim was posted later that day. He followed it up with another post saying he “thought” Eriksen had “more likely than not” suffered “a heart muscle inflammation” due to having either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

That evening, Radio Sportiva tweeted to say that the information included in Motl’s original post was false. Its post, which was written in Italian, said: “We have never reported any opinion from the Inter medical staff regarding Christian Eriksen’s condition.”

Motl took down his original tweet following the post from Radio Sportiva. He tweeted to say he did that because “my source could have been untrue. I am just unsure enough”. That post was shared 24 times and liked 48 times.

The following day Denmark’s team doctor Morten Boesen told a news conference that 29-year-old Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest during the match.

Boesen said: “We did cardiac resuscitation – it was a cardiac arrest.” He added that the medical team “got him back after one defib”.

Also, on June 13, Inter Milan director Giuseppe Marotta told Italian TV channel Rai Sport that Eriksen had not received any Covid-19 vaccine. “He didn’t have Covid and wasn’t vaccinated either,” he said.

In Italy, the Covid-19 vaccination programme initially gave priority to health staff and other key workers. This was revamped in March to ensure the elderly were also being immunised. Though the vaccination programme is controlled by the country’s national government, regional legislatures have had the freedom to manage the rollout themselves. In Lombardy, where Milan is located, the rollout has been hit by delays. At the end of May Italy’s national government said anyone over the age of 16 could book a vaccine from June 3 onwards.

In Denmark, the vaccination programme is managed by the Danish Health Authority and is prioritised based on different target groups. According to its vaccination calendar, those in the 25 to 29-year-old age group are expected to start being vaccinated in July.

Ferret Fact Service verdict: FFS

It is incorrect to claim that Eriksen had received any Covid 19 vaccine prior to his collapse during Denmark’s match against Finland. Inter Milan officials have confirmed he had not been vaccinated and Denmark’s team doctor confirmed that the footballer suffered a cardiac arrest. Due to his age and health profile Eriksen would not have been eligible for a vaccine in either Italy or Denmark prior to the game. The original source of the claim has since confirmed he does not have evidence to back it up. 

Claims Christian Eriksen's collapse was linked to Covid-19 Vaccine are FFS 9

FFS! (For Facts’ Sake) – The claim is baseless, ridiculous and/or logically impossible!

Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, and a signatoryto the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles. All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here. Want to suggest a fact check? Go to ideas.theferret.scot, email us at factcheck@theferret.scot or join our Facebook group.

Photo credit: Stock/Matimix

1 comment
  1. The one question I have over this article is that even though Italy and Denmark were not officially vaccinating citizens in Eriksen’s age group on the 31st of May, there is a news article stating that Israel and Denmark have committed to vaccinating all their athletes before the start of the Olympics (which is to start soon), so it is a reasonable question to ask if players in the Denmark team have been vaccinated as Olympians are no older than the football players.
    This shows that it is not against national policy to vaccinate young athletes.

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