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Fact check: Nurse did not pretend to inject actor Anthony Hopkins

A Facebook user has posted a video said to show a nurse pretending to vaccinate the Silence of the Lambs actor Anthony Hopkins then disposing of the fluid in the syringe.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The clip has over 900 shares at the time of publication and is captioned: “Watch the nurse squirt the vaccine into the car park after pretending to inject actor Anthony Hopkins!! Tell me I didn't just imagine that.” (here)

Social media users left comments such as “why is Anthony Hopkins making out to have the vaccine? Are we being lied to?” and “as if he would sit in his car and have a jab. Shame on him for being part of this lie”.

However, the video does show a real vaccination. The clip was originally uploaded by Hopkins himself to Twitter and Instagram on Jan. 28 in a post expressing his gratitude for the vaccine as a “light at the end of the tunnel (after one year of self-imposed quarantine)” (here and here).

The video was also shared by CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HMPC), where Hopkins received the vaccine in Los Angeles (here).

A spokesperson for the center told Reuters via email: “CHA HPMC administers the COVID-19 vaccination utilizing standard syringes provided by the LA County Department of Public Health. Every syringe is carefully prepared to ensure it contains the correct quantity of vaccine, and Mr. Hopkins received a full dose vaccination.

“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. This is expected, and “dead space” is present in every medication administered by injection.

“The vaccine present in the “dead space” is what was expelled out of the syringe after the full dose of the vaccine had been given to Mr. Hopkins.”

Reuters reported in January 2021 that the U.S. government had begun providing syringes with low dead space to minimise the amount of vaccine left in the syringe after use. This aimed to squeeze more doses from Pfizer vaccine vials, but the plan was hindered by limited supply of the special syringes (here).

The spokesperson for CHA HPMC added they were “one of LA’s first hospital-based drive-thru vaccination points of distribution”.

VERDICT

False. This video does not show a physician squirting the vaccine into a carpark after pretending to administer it. The clip shows actor Anthony Hopkins receiving his full COVID-19 vaccine in a Los Angeles drive-through vaccination point, and the liquid expelled from the syringe was left over from the ‘dead space’ in the needle.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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