A video of a woman claiming to be a nurse in the US stating that she developed Bell's Palsy after taking the COVID-19 vaccine is viral over social media but she provides no details of where she is employed or which vaccine she received.
BOOM found reports stating that the woman named Khalilah Mitchell who claims to be a licensed nurse from Nashville, Tennessee, USA is not a health worker from the area and did not receive any vaccine. While Bell's Palsy is a known side effect of the Pfizer vaccine, there have been no reports of the same from Tennessee.
While three separate videos are circulating on WhatsApp, a 1:15 second video describing the whole event is circulating on Facebook since December 27, 2020.
In the video, the woman is sitting in a dimly lit room with a face mask which she eventually removes it to show what appears to be weakness in the left side of her face to support her claim of suffering from Bell's Palsy.
"I am a registered nurse in Nashville, Tennessee, and my name is Khalilah Mitchell. I'm reaching out to everyone about the COVID-19 vaccination. I recently took the COVID-19 vaccination...after the shot, I felt fine. But within three days, I went to the doctor because I had problems with my face -- the whole left side of my face actually. I have Bell's palsy now. Please America, they do not care about us. Do not take this vaccination," she says in the video.
BOOM received the video on its WhatsApp helpline in three parts requesting us to verify the chain of events.
The whole video is also viral on Facebook with the caption "Nurse develops Bell's Palsy after COVID-19 vaccination"
While the woman, Khalilah Mitchell, claims to be a nurse and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine along with urging people to not get vaccinated, she does not mention where she is employed and also the vaccine she received. The United States have approved both the Pfizer-BioNTech as well as the Moderna RNA vaccines.
Furthermore, Associated Press contacted the Tennessee Department of Health to access records and vaccination details of the woman in question. Shelley Walker, a spokeswoman with the department told the AP in an email, "We have no record of anyone by that name in our health professional licensure system."
Fact-checking website Lead Stories went a step ahead and checked online databases in 49 other states and the District of Columbia. It did not find any registered nurses named Khalilah Mitchell.
BOOM even looked for the woman on social media. We came across a Facebook profile with the same name and from Nashville that was last active in 2019 and suggests that the woman earlier worked as a cashier at Ralph Lauren and at a local bakery in Nashville.
The video seems to insinuate to avoid the Pfizer- BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 as there were reports of four people developing Bell's Palsy, a disorder in which one side of the face droops and which is curable. However, besides the four reports, there have been no recent cases of people exhibiting symptoms of Bell's Palsy post receiving the vaccine.
The US Food and Drugs Administration has stated that there is no causal relationship between the vaccine and the development of Bell's Palsy. It has recommended guidelines to ensure that thorough surveillance is conducted to check for any cases of Bell's Palsy once the vaccine is deployed to a larger population.