People or bots on social media are claiming that Covid-19 vaccinations are being staged, that it is … [+] part of a hoax. Here Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)
Fake vaccinations? Empty syringes? Disappearing needles?
Holy magic show, Batman. And you thought you were just watching pictures and videos of people getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Social media is now being peppered with claims that the Covid-19 vaccine is a hoax, that vaccinations with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are being staged, that people aren’t actually getting real vaccines. Yep, apparently the argument is that Covide-19 vaccination is more like Operation Penn and Teller, Operation David Copperfield, or Operation Shin Lim. Either people or bots are suggesting that the whole “look I’m getting the Covid-19 vaccine” is really using sleight of hand or perhaps sleight of arm and syringe to fool you.
For example, there’s the old “disappearing needle” trick. You know the one that you always use at birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and bridal showers when the cake or stripper hasn’t arrived yet? Here’s how this trick is supposed to work. A needle appears to be going into a person’s arm. But then voilà the needle disappears just like all criminal punishments after a Presidential pardon. So it looks like you got an injection when you really didn’t. As this tweet from @Shayan86 showed, there have been quite a few appearances of this “disappearing needle” claim:
Never mind the fact that injection needles can actually be retractable safety needles. These are needles that pull back after delivering the injection and thus are contaminated. Such safety needle mechanisms can prevent anyone from getting accidentally stuck by a contaminated needle after its used. But who wants to hear about safety needles when a hoax explanation will do?
And how about the “empty syringe” trick? This is the “When You Inject Nothing at All” trick, a slight variation of the song sang by Alison Krauss. Normally, the syringe is supposed to contain the vaccine like a can holds Cheez Whiz. But what if instead of a vaccine, you put nothing at all in the syringe? That’s right, nothing. The claim is that the syringe is as empty as toilet paper shelves were in March or some politicians’ promises. An empty needle means that you could stick the needle into a person’s arm and give nothing.
Here’s one example of an empty claim:
Of course, vaccines don’t tend to look like Miley Cyrus on the red carpet. They don’t usually have bright colors or bedazzling that are seen easily from afar. So an “empty syringe” trick could actually be a “syringe filled with vaccine” trick.
Then there’s the “saline” trick. Saline is not the name Sarah Palin said very quickly while your mouth is full of Cheerios or what you do with a boat in the ocean. Saline solution is a mixture of salt (usually predominantly sodium chloride) and water. The claim is that the syringes are filled with saline rather than Covid-19 vaccine. After all, why not take time out of your busy day to get some salt water injected in your arm to perpetuate a hoax? Here is an example of such a salty allegation:
How do you prove that saline is being used instead of the vaccine? Well, solution containing the vaccine can look like saline and vice versa. Similarly, any pill can look like a sugar pill. Any gin and tonic can look like water. Hamburgers can look like veggie burgers. Dachshunds could look like hot dogs. Jessica Chastain could look like Bryce Dallas Howard. The possibilities are endless. So at some point, you have to have some trust in the many people giving and getting the Covid-19 vaccines.
Of course, why believe that the people giving the vaccines are health care professionals and the people getting the vaccine are actually front-line health care professionals, nursing home residents, or political leaders cutting in line rather than actors? After all, didn’t Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) just supposedly receive the vaccine? This would be the same Ernst who had previously suggested that doctors have been inflating Covid-19 death counts simply to make more money as NBC News reported back in September. Why in the world then would she be getting the vaccine? Seems a bit far-fetched, right?
And why stop there? Maybe everything in life is a gigantic magic show. All those products that you buy? Just props. That boss at work? A giant hedgehog in a costume. Your job? Just a front. The stock market? A massive card trick. Avocado toast? OK, maybe that’s real. And it’s spectacular.
Of course, claims that Covid-19 vaccinations are hoaxes do not account for the fact that many real doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals have already posted images of themselves getting the Covid-19 vaccine. For example, Alison Escalante, MD, pediatrician, TEDx speaker, and writer, shared the following:
And the University of Wisconsin internal medicine residency program tweeted this:
Then there’s this tweet from Paul A. Offit, MD, Director of the Vaccine Education Center and Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania:
It would have to be a massive conspiracy and undertaking to get all of these health care professionals plus everyone involved in developing and testing the Covid-19 vaccines to coordinate and orchestrate such a hoax. They’d all have to keep it quiet too. And you know how good people are at keeping secrets.
Moreover, why in the world would there be such an elaborate hoax? Who would do such a thing in the middle of a pandemic that has already claimed over 300,000 lives in the U.S. and led to even more suffering? There are unfounded claims that the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines are a ruse for the so-called “Deep State” to control you, for the “Deep State” to inject a microchip into you, or for some type of mass experiment. Well, news flash. There are a lot easier ways to track what you are doing than setting up a fake pandemic and vaccination program. If you are not sure how, then maybe you should post that question on your Facebook page.
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