The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A video posted to Facebook Aug. 25, 2021, claims to show a syringe used to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen with the domestically developed Medigen vaccine does not have a needle.
- The video, a clip from a livestreamed video, shows Tsai receiving the first dose of the Medigen vaccine. The video was shot from directly in front of Tsai. The needle in the syringe appears blurred due to low resolution of the video. Furthermore, the thumb on the left hand of a medical official delivering the injection obscures the needle, making it not visible from this camera angle.
- Filmed from different angles, other video versions of the same event clearly show the needle in the syringe.
- Our ruling: Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
A video posted Aug. 25, 2021, on Facebook, claims to show Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen receiving an injection of the domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, but the syringe used to inject her does not have a needle. Part of the translated caption claims, “We cannot even see the needle of the syringe. With help from the nurse, Tsai definitely would say she could not feel it after vaccination.”
As of the issuance of this report, the video had been viewed thousands of times, shared 50 times, and had received 29 comments and 133 likes or reactions.
Tsai received the first dose of Taiwan’s domestically made Medigen COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 23, 2021. The injection at a hospital in Taipei was broadcast live online.
A keyword search found the original YouTube video published by udn.com, an online news media affiliated with the United Daily News Group in Taiwan. The video was shot from directly in front of Tsai. The thumb on the left hand of a medical official delivering the injection obscures the needle, making it not visible from this camera angle.
The video also shows that the vaccine vial was unpackaged on site, and a medical official displayed the syringe with a shielded needle in front of the camera.
Further Google searches found other versions of livestreamed videos at the event from Taiwan’s local television broadcasters, including Sanlih E-Television News (SETN), Chinese Television Systems(CTS) News, and a video published by Tsai in a Facebook post. The above videos shot in different angles show a syringe with a clearly visible needle was being used to inject Tsai. The angle of the video discussed in the claim possibly obscures the needle and makes it not visible. The claim, therefore, is misleading.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Facebook post, Aug. 25, 2021.
- South China Morning Post, “President Tsai Ing-wen gets Taiwan’s domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine,” Aug. 23, 2021.
- Tsai Ing-wen, Facebook post, Aug.23, 2021.
- UDN, YouTube video, Aug. 23, 2021.
- SETN, YouTube video, Aug. 23, 2021.
- CTS News, YouTube video, Aug. 23, 2021.
- Tsai Ing-wen, Facebook livestreamed video, Aug. 23, 2021