Fact Check: There Is NOT Anything Fake About This Type Of 'Needle'

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: There Is NOT Anything Fake About This Type Of 'Needle' Safety Syringe

Does this video show a fake or faulty leaky syringe? No, that's not true: This style of medical syringe has a retractable needle for safety. It is designed to retract the needle into the barrel of the syringe after use, and this helps protect medical workers from needle stick injuries and makes for safer disposal.

The video clip recorded from a segment of a news program was posted to Instagram (archived here) on December 16, 2020, with the caption:

CTV. Isn't that the fakest looking needle you've ever seen? Why is there so much fluid leaking from the needle? Why isn't the skin irritated or red at the injection site? Who knew the vaccines geeked so much! via @stay.awake.sis2#MM777
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This is what users saw on social media:
Although Lead stories was unable to locate this exact clip from Canada's CTV television network that was reposted on Instagram, we know from news coverage that this shows Cecile Lasco, a personal support worker and one of the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine injection in Ontario, Canada. This CTV video shows the woman who was the first person in Ontario to get the vaccine, just before Lasco had her turn. On December 14, 2020, CBC.com reported on the event "Personal support worker becomes first Ontarian to get dose of COVID-19 vaccine." Included in that article are photos of both women. One shows Lasco about to get the vaccine with a clear view of the syringe. Below is a detail of the photo:
syringe03.JPG(Source: Carlos Osorio/Reuters- photo detail)

This syringe pictured has two safety features, the retractable needle, and the pink "eclipse" cover. Lead Stories was unable to positively identify the brand of this specific syringe, but it looks to be identical to the BD Integra Hypodermic Needle with a retracting needle pictured below:

Syringe04.JPG(Source: Screenshot from the Allmedtech.com website)

Two still frame screenshots taken from the video clip posted on Instagram show that the exposed portion of needle extending from the barrel of the syringe is not the same length before (left) and after the injection (right) as the needle is removed from the arm.


This BD Integra™ Syringe instructional video posted to Youtube shows the mechanism of the retractable syringe. The eclipse shield is featured in a separate video.

The caption in the Instagram post asked, "Why is there so much fluid leaking from the needle?" The answer has to do with the small amount of fluid between the plunger and the needle that is displaced when the needle retracts into the barrel of the syringe. The instructional video below is cued to begin where this is explained:

Here activation of the safety device may cause minimal splatter so for the greatest safety when activating outside of the patient, activate the device away from yourself and others.

The BBC also debunked claims on social media that cite retracting needles as "proof" that vaccinations are faked.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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