Fact check: No evidence that Bill Gates used actor for COVID-19 vaccine photo

Various social media posts have claimed that a picture of Bill Gates receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was staged, and that the man pictured is not the billionaire philanthropist, but an actor. There is no evidence to support this claim.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen (here and here ).

The claim began to circulate after Gates posted an image to his Twitter account showing him receiving the vaccination (here).

“One of the benefits of being 65 is that I’m eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. I got my first dose this week, and I feel great”, the image is captioned.

Throughout the pandemic, false conspiracy theories about Gates using vaccines to insert trackable microchips into people have spread online (here).

Following the post from Gates about his vaccination, social media users have claimed that the man in the Twitter photo is not Gates, but an actor.

The evidence for this, the posts allege, is that the “fake Bill Gates” has differently shaped ears to the “real Bill Gates”.

There is no credible evidence to support this claim.

While his ear does seem to be slightly more curved in the vaccination photo, this is likely the result of the elastic from his mask pulling it forward.

On Gates’ blog, a picture of him wearing a mask shows his ear pulled forward in a similar manner (here).

His facial features do also resemble what he looks like when not wearing glasses, as seen (here).

A Gates family spokesperson told Reuters that he received the Moderna vaccine in mid-January.

“Bill received the Moderna vaccine, because that’s what was available to him. He would have been very happy to receive any of the vaccines that are approved and available”, the spokesperson said in an email.

“He received it in mid-January when it was made available to people age 65 and older. It was administered by a registered nurse at a medical facility”.


False. There is no evidence that the image does not show Bill Gates, nor that he did not receive the vaccine.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .