A story about a terrifying way a teenager got pregnant — from a flu shot, of all things — is completely untrue. A satire site is behind this hoax, which was quickly decoupled from its original source and passed around as factual.
The well-known satire site WorldNewsDailyReport.com started that rumor with a story headlined, “Texas: 14-Year Old Virgin Falls Pregnant After Flu Shot.” The story reports that the girl experienced nausea and severe cramps after receiving the vaccine:
San Angelo, TX | A 14-year old schoolgirl has suffered serious complications after a flu shot allegedly left the young girl terribly ill and with severe cramps, until the family doctor finally realized weeks later she had been impregnated by the vaccine, reports the Forth Worth Telegram this week.
After symptoms persisted several weeks, the distressed mother brought her child to the Whole Womans Health of Forth Worth medical clinic where she was found to be pregnant moments later.
“She was in excellent health beforehand. After a few days she became very unwell, she had all the symptoms of a fever” explains her mother. “It took a good few weeks before she felt better, but the nausea continued. She would throw up every day or so, until eventually we went to see Dr Hersch who realized she was pregnant” she told local reporters, visibly still under shock.
The hoax report was quickly shared more than 200,000 times on social media sites. Taken out of context, many readers believed that it was true and questioned the “medical diagnosis” that the girl had been impregnated by a flu shot. One reader commented:
As a former resident of San Angelo who learned all too quickly what kids do for fun as their parents overwhelmingly choose to ignore what’s going on right under their noses, I’m pretty confident this girl got pregnant the traditional way. And anyone who doesn’t consider sex a form of witchcraft knows a girl can become pregnant with the hymen intact. I went to college with three different girls who became pregnant (and were definitely awake during conception) whose mothers (who didn’t know each other) told everyone they were drugged and molested at frat parties, if that tells you anything.
But the girl wasn’t impregnated by a flu shot or “the traditional way,” because she does not exist. World News Daily Report is well known for publishing fake news reports that trick readers into believing they’re true.
According to the website’s disclaimer, it assumes “all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content.”
The likelihood of being impregnated by a flu shot is about as high as the likelihood of getting pregnant from a toilet seat, which is to say not likely at all.