Margaret Keenan receiving the UK's first Covid-19 vaccine

ITV News/YouTube

First person to get Pfizer’s COVID vaccine already beset by conspiracies

Depending on who you ask, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan is either dead or a 'crisis actor.'


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Dec 8, 2020   Updated on Dec 9, 2020, 9:50 am CST

Margaret Keenan, the 90-year-old woman who became the U.K.’s first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial, has already become a target of conspiracy theorists online.

Keenan, who is originally from Northern Ireland but now lives in Southern England, made headlines on Tuesday after being filmed receiving the inoculation produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

As noted by Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist who covers misinformation and conspiracy theories for the BBC, Keenan has since been accused of being part of an elaborate plot to force vaccinations on the public.

In one post, a user claims that Keenan actually died in 2008 based on an obituary that clearly is referencing another person with the same name. The user goes on to suggest that the footage is yet “another psyop and crisis actor.”

The conspiracies only became more bizarre and outlandish from there. In another example on Facebook, one user argued that Keenan was a member of the “illuminati” after she appeared to make a “masonic hand gesture.”

Another user claimed that the footage was actually months-old given that he saw it in an article from CNN that was originally published in October. In reality, the old article merely had a video player embedded that is designed to autoplay current content.

Shortly after Keenan’s vaccination, Twitter users in the U.K. began mocking those very conspiracy theorists with satirical posts.

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Users jokingly began suggesting that Keenan was now being tracked by billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who conspiracy theorists believe has slipped location-tracking microchips into vaccines.

“I wonder how Bill Gates is going to spend his first day in control of Margaret Keenan, 90, from Coventry,” @ConMend said.

Despite the absurd claims, Keenan, who is set to turn 91 next week, is happy with her decision.

“I say go for it, go for it because it’s free and it’s the best thing that has ever happened,” Keenan said. “If I can do it, well, so can you.”

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*First Published: Dec 8, 2020, 6:06 pm CST