FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Mike Pence Being Vaccinated For COVID-19 With The Cap On The Needle?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Vice President Mike Pence receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with the cap covering the needle.

Verdict: False

The needle used in Pence’s vaccination was not covered by a cap during the injection, other photos and footage from the event show.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post uses a photo of Pence on Dec. 18 receiving his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to question whether the vice president actually received the jab. “Pence getting a Covid Death shot with the cap still on,” reads the text above the picture. “These people are so transparent.”

The image in the Facebook post is one of several photos of Pence’s vaccination taken by Agence France-Presse (AFP) that can be found on Getty Images. While the hand of the health care worker administering the vaccine appears to block the view of the needle in that particular photo, other pictures and video from the event show there was not a cap on the needle when Pence received the jab. (RELATED: Did An Alabama Nurse Die After Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine?)

For instance, a photo taken by Saul Loeb for AFP shows the needle extending beyond the blue part of the syringe, while another picture from Associated Press photographer Andrew Harnik depicts the needle as clearly visible. The syringe’s exposed needle can also be seen in a CNBC video posted on YouTube.

The blue piece visible at the end of the syringe is likely either a needle hub or a needle adapter. A needle hub attaches the needle to a syringe, according to the Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Neither a needle hub nor a needle adapter covers a needle’s tip, as shown in a diagram in a publicly-available digital medical textbook from a Canadian university.

Pence isn’t the first public official to be the target of a false claim related to their COVID-19 vaccination. Check Your Fact previously debunked social media posts alleging that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was vaccinated with a capped syringe and that Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller received the vaccine from a needle-less oral syringe.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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