Munchausen by Internet: False COVID “Vaccine Injury”

Personal Narrative | 1 comment

All of the information in this story is based on statements shared publicly online. “Madeline” (not her real name) has maintained an active social media presence using a pseudonym that she had revealed to at least one family member. 

She has claimed to be vaccine injured due to the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are significant inconsistencies in her online story.


Madeline revealed online that she’d received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021 but declined the second. Despite having what she would later describe as an immediate adverse reaction, neither Madeline nor the other party with her judged that Madeline had any symptoms serious enough to report to on-site healthcare personnel. 

She also disclosed the specific date, time, and lot number of her vaccination, along with a broad age range and state of residence online. A search of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) initially uncovered two reports that fit. 

The first one, dated February 2021, about 2.5 weeks after Madeline’s vaccination, listed minor, resolved symptoms:

  • Racing heart and numb/tingling lips for a few minutes after injection
  • Itching on the vaccinated arm for about 1.5 hours
  • Swollen glands starting a few days after vaccination and lasting two weeks. 

A social media post by Madeline mirrored those symptoms, along with noting a headache, fatigue, and a stomach ache that she wasn’t sure was related. She stated that the vaccine experience “went well” and that she was leaning against “a booster.”

The second VAERS report from June 2021 was far different. It described horrible tingling and twitching and a loss of independence in personal activities that hadn’t resolved. She admitted online to having self-filed an initial VAERS report and stated she’d spoken to the CDC on the date the new report was filed to make updates. Also, she shared an image from VAERS of her symptoms that matched the second report.

In November 2021, the CDC removed the second VAERS report. According to CDC policy, records deemed duplicate or false are removed. 

The two matching VAERS reports are curious, but there are more discrepancies in her story.

A search on Madeline’s pseudonym turned up a forum post made three weeks after her first VAERS report in late February 2021. She noted that she had a prior tinnitus diagnosis dating to 2013 and that the cause was a military conflict. According to her statements online, she had never had issues with tinnitus since her diagnosis, but it had returned and was intolerable following her vaccination. She had not mentioned tinnitus three weeks earlier when she noted her post-vaccine symptoms were resolved.

Around May 2021, more than three months after receiving the vaccination, Madeline traveled four hours from her home to a well-known university hospital. She claimed that she had been experiencing a headache and ongoing twitching and tingling since receiving the vaccine. 

According to her online story, medical professionals thought she was having a stroke, so she had a CT scan and bloodwork. All tests came back normal. She later said she was diagnosed with “hypersensitivity” to the vaccine. It is unknown whether she disclosed that her injection had been three months before her hospital visit. 

Also, Madeline admitted online that she bypassed her local hospital because it was too small. She claimed that the local hospital only treats broken bones and delivers babies, so she had to travel for four hours to a decent hospital. However, this behavior is inconsistent with someone having a stroke, which is a life-threatening medical event and needs care as quickly as possible.

In May 2021, Madeline started a new public social media account to chronicle her story. At this point, Madeline had expanded her purported symptom set significantly. She now claimed new symptoms arising from the vaccine, including but not limited to:

  • Immediate-onset hives and tightening in her throat
  • Ongoing neurological symptoms
  • Twitching
  • Internal tremors
  • Tingling
  • “Brain zapping” 
  • A feeling of electricity running through her body
  • Chest pains
  • Blood pressure fluctuations
  • Burning
  • Inflammation throughout her body
  • Vertigo
  • Facial Numbness
  • Brain fog
  • Memory issues

Madeline frequently claimed online to have had an “immediate anaphylactic reaction,” although she had admitted not having reported any symptoms to on-site healthcare personnel. 

Also, Madeline said she felt like she could not put two sentences together, although she was verbosely articulate online. In fact, she reported frequently moderating online conversations about vaccines and health-related topics on an all-audio social app. She said that any activity caused her to be “bedridden” for days or weeks, despite traveling away from home regularly.

Madeline connected online with a group of doctors that claimed to be working with patients with purported post-vaccine reactions. She submitted to bloodwork that resulted in markers for vascular inflammation, which she attributed to the vaccine. However, Madeline also admitted online to having unmanaged high cholesterol for more than a decade. She stated that she was not on medication and suspected it was genetic. 

Because of Madeline’s reported long-term untreated high cholesterol, it’s no surprise that her bloodwork could reveal signs of vascular inflammation. Later, she stated online that the vaccine caused her high cholesterol. 

At eight months post-vaccine, Madeline’s story about her purported symptoms evolved yet again during an online video interview. She now claimed that she felt like she was going to die the day after receiving the vaccine. 

Although she previously said she had a stomach ache the next day that may not have been vaccine-related, Madeline stated she bent down to pick something up and had severe stomach pain. She said she had chest pains, twitching, an electrical “zapping” sound in her head and body, and “huge” swollen glands. Also, her vertigo was so bad that she couldn’t walk from her bedroom to her bathroom and had to crawl. 

Over time, her symptoms kept evolving, her following grew, and she was able to elicit more sympathy and attention. She complained of double vision, numbing on the side of her face, not being able to lift her vaccinated arm, worsening joint pain, and concerns that dementia is in her near future due to her purported ongoing neurological symptoms. Also, she said she was experiencing “tortuous wasting” and a “slow death” caused by the vaccine and expressed that she didn’t feel like she had long to live. 

In May 2022, family members approached Madeline about her expression of severe medical symptoms online. Madeline suddenly stated online that she was 75 to 80 percent better due to Ivermectin. 

Madeline also changed the handle and/or deleted social accounts. She may be attempting to disappear or continue her online outreach away from the eyes of family members.

1 Comment

  1. Carl gusto

    This was written by a person who has issues against those with vaccine injury. It appears this person has personal issues and thinks they are a doctor. Individuals with any common decency don’t attack people who had reactions to the vaccine.


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