Fact Check-Woman who fainted during a recorded press conference is not the EMA’s executive director, nor was her condition vaccine-related

A woman who fainted during a filmed press conference has been falsely identified as Emer Cooke, the head of Europe’s medicines regulator.

The incident, recorded in a 14-second clip, was shared to Facebook and Twitter in mid-October, with social media users claiming it shows Cooke, the executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), collapsing as a result of receiving a COVID-19 shot (here , here and here).

“The covid death vaccine did it’s job [sic],” wrote multiple users who shared the video, citing the Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation.

The same claim has also been viewed by thousands of people in other languages, including Slovak (here) , Vietnamese (here) , French (here) and Spanish (here).

However, the video shows a press conference in April, and the woman fainting is Tanja Erichsen, the head of pharmacovigilance at Denmark’s Medicines Agency (here).

Erichsen and Soren Brostrom, the director general of the Danish Health Authority, were leading a press conference on April 14 to announce Denmark’s halt to the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

However, the event was temporarily paused when Erichsen collapsed at the podium.

In a tweet, the Danish Medicines Agency said Erichsen was “okay under the circumstances” but had been taken to hospital to be checked over (here).

On April 19, five days after the incident, Erichsen tweeted a picture of herself and said she had received a “hard blow” to the head but was in “good recovery now” (here).

Danish fact-checking website TjekDet later quoted the Danish Medicines Agency as saying the incident was not vaccine-related, as Erichsen had not yet received a COVID-19 shot (here).

Erichsen herself tweeted the TjekDet article (here).


False. The video shows Danish Medicines Agency official Tanja Erichsen fainting, not the EMA’s Emer Cooke. Erichsen had not received a COVID-19 vaccine at the time, and therefore her condition was not related.

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