Fact Check: This Photo of Defense Secretary's COVID Vaccination Does NOT Show A No-Needle Syringe

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: This Photo of Defense Secretary's COVID Vaccination Does NOT Show A No-Needle Syringe Real Needle

Is the Department of Defense photo of Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller getting a COVID-19 vaccination faked with a blunt oral syringe instead of a needle-tipped syringe? No, that's not true: Although the needle on the syringe is difficult to see against the background in the photo the Department of Defense posted on Twitter, a needle is clearly visible in other images of the moment captured from other angles.

The screenshot of the Department of Defense tweet appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on December 15, 2020, with the caption, "Omg I can't stop laughing! Are you paying attention?! That's an oral syringe. NO needle.😂 Enjoy the show!"

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Dec 17 20:15:23 2020 UTC)

The text of the original Department of Defense tweet used in the post read:

"Got the vaccine yesterday afternoon. I usually crash hard from shots but this time, I feel fine! No issues at all other than a slightly sore arm like I did too many pull ups." A/SD Chris Miller

The caption added in the Facebook post implies that the vaccination was faked.

But this December 15, 2020, Bloomberg Quicktake video, "U.S. Defense Chief Chris Miller Receives Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine" shows another angle of the injection. At the :20 mark in the video, the needle on the syringe is clearly visible, as seen in the screenshot below.

Vax04.jpg (Source: video screenshot Bloomberg Quicktake: Now)

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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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