Fact Check: Actor Anthony Hopkins Did NOT Fake Receiving A COVID-19 Shot In A Video

Fact Check

  • by: Olivera Perkins
Fact Check: Actor Anthony Hopkins Did NOT Fake Receiving A COVID-19 Shot In A Video Real Shot

Did Anthony Hopkins fake receiving a COVID-19 shot from a staffer at a California hospital in the video the actor posted on Instagram? No, that's not true: In a March 10, 2021, email to Lead Stories, a spokeswoman for CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center said that "the video does indeed show our staff administering the full dose of vaccine to Mr. Anthony Hopkins."

The claim appeared in an Instagram post (archived here) published March 9, 2021, which opened:

Here is @anthonyhopkins "receiving" his shot. Notice she squirts the solution onto the ground at the end of the video. Propaganda to get you to take an experimental drug, when they don't take it themselves. Please research and use discernment before taking it.

The Instagram post above includes a video that Hopkins posted to his Instagram account January 28, 2021, which shows an unidentified CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center staffer giving him the vaccine. The post opens:

THANK YOU🙏🏻
PublicHealth.LACounty.Gov
CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, and my dear friend,
Dr. Maria Teresa Ochoa.
Light at the end of the tunnel (after one year of self imposed quarantine).

The video shows that after the staffer administers the COVID-19 vaccine, she pulls the syringe out of Hopkins' arm. She then squirts a bit of the fluid in the syringe onto the ground. Hopkins is seated in a vehicle, having received his shot at a drive-through vaccination site. The March 9, 2021, Instagram post cites as proof the portion of video that shows the staffer squirting "the solution onto the ground" after pulling the needle out of Hopkins. There is often left-over vaccine in standard syringes.

In an email to Lead Stories, a hospital spokeswoman explained the squirted-out "dead space" excess shown in the Hopkins video:

CHA HPMC administers the COVID-19 vaccination utilizing standard syringes provided by the LA County Department of Public Health. Every syringe is carefully prepared to ensure it contains the correct quantity of vaccine, and Mr. Hopkins received a full dose vaccination.

The excess liquid pictured in the video is a result of residual volume that occupies the "dead space" in the needle system (e.g., cannula, hub, Luer) AFTER the full dose drawn into the syringe has been administered. This is expected, and "dead space" is present in every medication administered by injection. Most importantly, the vaccine present in the "dead space" is what was seen as being expelled out of the syringe after the full dose of the vaccine had been given to Mr. Hopkins.

Several news organizations have posted reports like this one regarding a shortage of "low dead space" syringes and needles.

The Instagram account @republicanparty states that it is "not the official account for the Republican Party." The account, established in 2012, describes itself as "Your #1 source for Republican news."

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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.


  Olivera Perkins

Olivera Perkins is a veteran journalist and fact checker at Lead Stories, who has covered a variety of beats, including labor, employment and workforce issues for several years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Olivera has received state and national awards for her coverage, including those from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW). She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Read more about or contact Olivera Perkins

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