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A Viral Story About A Kansas Woman's Death Is A Case Study In Vaccine Misinformation

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jeanie evans2.jpg
Becker Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home
Jeanie M. Evans died unexpectedly on March 24, 2021. The cause of death is being investigated by the Kansas Department of Health.

A funeral home obituary stated that Jeanie M. Evans died unexpectedly "from a reaction to the Covid (sic) vaccine." That information wasn't verified by news outlets that repeated it.

The obituary quickly gained hundreds of views online and was repeated verbatim by several news outlets although Evans' cause of death has still not been verified. A panel explains the known facts in this case, what could possibly cause a negative reaction to a vaccine and the responsibilities of news organizations when reporting on the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control website states that to date it "has not detected patterns in cause of death that would indicate a safety problem with COVID-19 vaccines."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
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