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Fact Check-No evidence an Australian boy called ‘Lachlan Leary’ was killed by a COVID-19 vaccine

There is no evidence that an Australian boy called Lachlan Leary was killed by a COVID-19 vaccine, contrary to claims on social media.

The claim (here , here) originates from a Facebook post – now taken down - from a man named Steve Leary, who said his seven-year-old son had died on the way to hospital after suffering a “massive heart attack” caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the original post, Leary explained how his son Lachlan became unwell with a fever after receiving the shot.

When he began experiencing breathing difficulties, the boy was taken to Sydney’s Westmead Hospital in New South Wales, Leary wrote - but was later sent home.

“Friday morning at 4am, we heard him yell out, he was on his bedroom floor, he then collapsed, he was not breathing,” the now-removed Facebook post read.

Leary claimed that Lachlan died of a “massive heart attack” on his way to hospital, using it as warning against children being given the vaccine.

There is no evidence that the incident ever happened.

Responding to the claims on Facebook, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead said there were “many inaccurate posts currently circulating on social media”, and that there “is no record of any child having passed away following COVID vaccination at our hospital”. (here).

Meanwhile, a New South Wales Health spokesperson told Reuters in an email that it “has not been able to locate any record of any such incident”, in reference to the claims about the death of the boy.

The Facebook account which authored the post now appears to have been deleted or deactivated, and neither of the parents have come forward to corroborate the story.

No reliable news outlets have covered the alleged incident.

Some alternative websites have reported on the alleged incident (here , here) which included a photograph of Steve Leary, the former mayor of Winter Park, Florida, in the United States (floridamayors.org/steve-leary/).

One of the alternative websites also suggested that former mayor Leary is Australia’s prime minister, which is also untrue (here).

Reuters could not find any death or funeral records for the boy, and no photographs of the child have been shared online or given to news outlets.

VERDICT

False. There is no evidence, or official records, that the incident ever happened.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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