Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L) and US Vice President Mike Pence receive Covid-19 vaccination shots in Washington, DC on December 18, 2020 (POOL / AFP / Anna Moneymaker / Saul Loeb)

Pelosi, Pence did not fake Covid-19 vaccinations using capped needles

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Social media posts claim US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and US Vice President Mike Pence pretended to receive Covid-19 vaccines using syringes that had caps over the needles. This is false; images of the two politicians being vaccinated show that the needles were uncovered when the shots were administered.

“Hard to get the vaccine if they don’t take the cap off the needle,” says a December 18, 2020 Facebook post that includes an image of Pelosi being vaccinated in which the needle is not visible.

A screenshot of a Facebook post taken on December 21, 2020

Other examples of the claim appear on Facebook here, here and here.

As Covid-19 vaccines are administered around the world, false and misleading claims about them are spreading across the internet, raising fears and doubts about a key tool in the fight against a disease that has killed more than 1.7 million people.

“Today, with confidence in science & at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the COVID-19 vaccine,” Pelosi tweeted on December 18. 

A screenshot of a tweet taken on December 21, 2020

The claims on Facebook feature an image of Pelosi that does not show the needle because it was apparently inside her arm. 

But the following photo of Pelosi’s vaccination makes clear that there was an exposed needle on the syringe.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi receives a Covid-19 vaccination shot in her office in Washington, DC on December 18, 2020 (POOL / AFP / Ken Cedeno)
A close-up of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi receiving a Covid-19 vaccination shot on December 18, 2020 (POOL / AFP / Ken Cedeno)
 

 

The same claim was made about Pence, who received a Covid-19 vaccine on the same day as Pelosi.

“Pence getting a Covid Death shot with the cap still on. These people are so transparent,” says text in a December 19, 2020 Facebook post above a photo of the vice president being vaccinated.

A screenshot of a Facebook post taken on December 23, 2020

The claim also appears on Twitter here and here.

“We gather at the end of a historic week to affirm to the American people that hope is on the way. @SecondLady & I were honored to step forward and receive the Safe and Effective Coronavirus Vaccine and we hope it will be a source of confidence & comfort for the American people,” Pence tweeted on December 18.

A screenshot of a tweet taken on December 23, 2020

The following photo shows that the needle was uncovered when Pence’s shot was administered.

US Vice President Mike Pence receives a Covid-19 vaccine in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, December 18 (AFP / Saul Loeb)

Other inaccurate claims about Covid-19 vaccines that have been debunked by AFP Fact Check are available in English here.

 

EDIT: This article was updated on December 23, 2020 to add false claims about US Vice President Mike Pence’s vaccination.
Vaccines Covid-19