Betty White did not get a Covid-19 booster vaccine three days before she died

10 January 2022
What was claimed

Betty White died three days after she received her Covid booster vaccine.

Our verdict

There is no evidence of this. Her agent confirmed she died of natural causes and did not receive her booster three days before her death.

Multiple Facebook posts have shared false claims that the late actress Betty White received her booster vaccine three days before she died.

They all include a screengrab of another post which claims that, on 28 December 2021, Ms White said: “Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today”. Ms White died on 31 December. The screen-grabbed post also includes a preview of an article about Ms White by US news site Crow River Media, with the headline: “Betty White: I’m lucky to still be in good health”.  

However, there is no evidence Betty White said she received a Covid-19 booster vaccine three days before her death and this quote does not appear in the article. 

Betty White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, said in a statement on 2 January 2022: “Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home. People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true.” 

He added: “She never said that regarding the booster. 

“Betty died of natural causes. She did not have the booster three days before she died."

Although the Crow River Media article cannot be directly accessed in the UK (due to General Data Protection Regulations), an archived version is available. The article titled “Betty White: I’m lucky to still be in good health” is authentic, referencing a People magazine interview with Ms White. 

The People magazine interview was published on 28 December 2021, and it does include a quote from Ms White saying: “I feel so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age.” However, neither the People magazine nor the Crow River Media article include the quote about vaccines shared on Facebook or otherwise mention booster vaccines. 

A subsequent article from Crow River Media disputes the vaccines quote and includes the statement from Ms White’s agent. 

False claims on social media that celebrities have died or become seriously unwell from vaccines have been a common source of misinformation during the pandemic. We have previously fact checked claims that the late rapper DMX received a Covid-19 vaccine shortly before his death in April 2021, and that footballer Christian Eriksen had been vaccinated days before collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 tournament in June 2021. Neither were true.

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