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The nurse in the video didn’t pretend to inject actor Anthony Hopkins with the vaccine. The medical center confirmed he received a full vaccine dose.
The nurse ejected excess liquid that often lingers in the syringe’s “dead space” between the plunger and needle after a medication or vaccine is administered.
As states expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility, misinformation about the shots continues to spread online.
One such Instagram post, shared on March 9, claims that a video shows a nurse pretending to vaccinate "Silence of the Lambs" actor Anthony Hopkins before squirting the fluid from the syringe on the floor.
"Here is @anthonyhopkins ‘receiving’ his shot," the caption says. "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 video, however, shows a real vaccination. The fluid being disposed of represents excess liquid that is standard for injectable pharmaceuticals after the medicine has been administered.
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.)
Hopkins originally shared the clip on his Instagram account on Jan. 28, thanking CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California, where he received the shot.
The medical center told PolitiFact that the post misrepresents what’s happening in the video and that Hopkins did receive the vaccine.
"Every syringe is carefully prepared to ensure it contains the correct quantity of vaccine, and Mr. Hopkins received a full dose vaccination," the hospital said in an emailed statement.
"The excess liquid pictured in the video is a result of residual volume that occupies the ‘dead space’ in the needle system ... AFTER the full dose drawn into the syringe has been administered," the statement said. "This is expected, and ‘dead space’ is present in every medication administered by injection."
In January, the U.S. government sought to squeeze an extra dose out of the Pfizer vials by providing special syringes with low dead space to reduce the amount of vaccine left over, but the effort was hampered by a syringe shortage.
This post is False.
Instagram post, March 9, 2021
Anthony Hopkins Instagram post, Jan. 28, 2021
Reuters, Fact check: Nurse did not pretend to inject actor Anthony Hopkins, Feb. 10, 2021
Washington Post, Pfizer spent months working to extract sixth dose from vials as vaccine production shortfalls loomed, Feb. 3, 2021
Bloomberg, A Humble Syringe Could Help Speed U.S. Vaccination Effort, Feb. 10, 2021
Email interview with Su Lee, spokesperson for CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, March 10, 2021
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