Fact check: Spanish care home deaths caused by COVID-19, not vaccine

A false claim that the coronavirus vaccine was linked to the deaths of 46 care home residents in Spain has been shared across social media.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

An article titled “Second Pfizer COVID Shot Halted in Spain After 46 Deaths in One Nursing Home Following the First Shot” has been featured on websites that regularly promote misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccination (here).

The article makes an unfounded link between a spate of coronavirus deaths at the Nuestra Señora del Rosario nursing home in Los Barrios, Spain and the Pfizer vaccine.

“All residents and workers at the facility received the first dose of Pfizer mRNA in early January”, the article says. “Most residents became extremely ill shortly after the shots.”

A spokesperson for the Junta de Andalucia, the regional government, told Reuters via email that the suggestion that the residents died as a result of the vaccine is false.

“A coronavirus outbreak entered even before the first dose of the vaccine was administered among its residents and workers”, the spokesperson said. “Those who died in said residence did so as a result of the COVID-19 disease.”

Even after a person is vaccinated for COVID-19, there are circumstances where it is possible to catch the disease.

Not only does it take several weeks for immunity to build, full protection is only given after the second dose of the vaccine.

After two weeks, a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 57% effective in protecting against symptomatic COVID-19 infections, according to a study published and peer-reviewed in the New England Journal of Medicine (here).

The research showed that two doses of the vaccine cut symptomatic cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.

The article about the Spanish care home deaths also claims that health officials “halted all further mRNA shots” in response to the deaths.

While it was reported that the second vaccine dose was interrupted because of the outbreak (here), the Junta de Andalucia has said that both doses have continued to be administered (here).


False. There is no real link between the vaccine and the deaths of the care home residents. The coronavirus outbreak began before the first dose of the vaccine was given, the regional government said.

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