Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman April 27, 2021

Mariah Carey didn’t fake getting her COVID-19 vaccine. A retractable needle was used

If Your Time is short

  • Mariah Carey didn’t fake getting her COVID-19 vaccine. The health care worker who administered the shot used a retractable needle.

Many celebrities have shared their COVID-19 vaccine experiences in an attempt to help boost public confidence in the shots.

Some, like pop star Mariah Carey, posted videos of the moment they got the jab. But vaccine skeptics have seized on some of the footage, suggesting that these celebrities aren’t really getting the vaccine at all.  

And that’s what happened to Carey. Weeks after the singer shared a clip on Instagram that showed her receiving her first vaccine dose, claims started to spread online that she faked it because the needle didn’t appear to come out of her arm. 

"It’s all a scam, don’t celebrate celebrities," says one April 15 Instagram post that displays a zoomed-in version of Carey’s video.

Comments about the needle not being visible appeared on Carey’s own post, too: "It is quite obvious that the huge needle is not there upon removal of this ‘shot’ from her arm!" one person wrote in all caps.

But Carey did get the vaccine. The health care worker who administered the shot used a retractable needle.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Featured Fact-check

The same day Carey received her vaccine, her partner, Bryan Tanaka, shared a video Carey filmed of his vaccination experience at the Center for Internal and Integrative Medicine in Alpharetta, Ga. 

PolitiFact could not confirm with the medical facility the type of needle used for Carey’s vaccine, but a spokesperson told news organization Reuters that the video in question shows a retractable needle.

In the very beginning of Carey’s clip, too, a woman can be heard telling another person that when pushed all the way, "the needle will retract back." 

Retractable needles are used to help protect patients and health care workers from injury.

"Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries which expose workers to bloodborne pathogens continue to be a significant hazard for hospital employees," the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says on its website. 

In a display of the many different types of needles, the agency explains how retractable syringes work: "After the needle is used, an extra push on the plunger retracts the needle into the syringe, removing the hazard of needle exposure."

We rate this post False.

Our Sources

USA Today, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Britney Spears, Dolly Parton and more celebs who got the COVID-19 vaccine, April 14, 2021 

PolitiFact, A nurse didn’t pretend to vaccinate Anthony Hopkins. Video shows excess liquid after dose was given, March 10, 2021 

Instagram post, April 15, 2021

Instagram, Mariah Carey post, Bryan Tanaka post, April 3, 2021 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Healthcare Wide Hazards Needlestick/Sharps Injuries, Accessed April 27, 2021 

Reuters, Fact Check-Mariah Carey did not fake her COVID-19 vaccine, April 26, 2021 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Samantha Putterman

Mariah Carey didn’t fake getting her COVID-19 vaccine. A retractable needle was used

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up