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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 7, 2021

Do you think Boris Johnson faked his booster shot? Let’s look closer at the needle.

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  • Some people are confusing a part of the syringe used to give British Prime Minister Boris Johnson his COVID-19 booster shot with the needle’s cap, but photos and videos show that’s wrong. 

On Dec. 2, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a video encouraging people to get their COVID-19 booster shot, writing: "I’ve just got my booster jab."

But some people are skeptical that it really happened. 

"Boris Johnson getting boosted today by a nurse without gloves and a needle with the blue lid still on LMFAO," reads a description of a photo of the British Prime Minister that’s being shared on Facebook. 

This 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.)

In the photo posted on Facebook, as well as in others photos and videos of the prime minister receiving his booster, the part of the syringe that’s pressed against his arm is blue — but it’s not the needle’s cap. 

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Images of such a shot can be seen alongside news coverage of COVID-19 vaccines in publications including Insider, the Guardian, and Forbes. The needle extends past the blue plastic. That’s especially clear in this Associated Press photo of a health care worker preparing a Pfizer shot.   

But it’s also apparent in other photos and videos of Johnson getting his booster.

BBC reporter Alistair Coleman tweeted one such picture in a thread debunking claims that the booster shot scene was staged. So did the Associated Press. And the needle is visible from several angles in this 51-second video posted on YouTube by Bloomberg.  

The AP reported that the blue part of the needle that some people are mistaking for the cap is actually called the "hub," and it connects the needle to the barrel of the syringe.

We rate claims that Johnson didn’t get his booster shot False.


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Do you think Boris Johnson faked his booster shot? Let’s look closer at the needle.

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