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Video of Mariah Carey shows vaccination with retractable needle

April 9, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Singer Mariah Carey received a “fake” vaccine. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The singer was injected with a safety needle, which retracts after the shot is administered. 

THE FACTS: On April 3, the singer posted a video on social media of her receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. When being jabbed, Carey let out a high-pitched note. The video’s caption states, “Vaccine side effect: G6.” 

Carey posted the video, which features an editing effect that briefly looks like a bright, white flash the moment she was injected. Once the healthcare worker inoculates Carey and fully pushes down on the syringe’s plunger, the needle then retracts back into the barrel. 


Multiple social media users reposted Carey’s video with false claims that the needle disappeared, and the shot was faked. “Another fake celebrity vaccine,” a caption on an Instagram post states. “The needle is gone,” a caption in the video later states.

But there’s nothing nefarious about the needle that was used for Carey’s injection. The design is a safety mechanism. 

“The needle is a retractable needle, which is a type of Safer Needle Device or ‘safety needle,’ and is used commonly in hospitals and other healthcare settings,” Sarah Kirchofer, interim director of Occupational Health Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told The Associated Press after reviewing the video. 

Kirchofer further explained that retractable needles have a spring system. When the plunger is depressed and the needle has delivered the solution, the needle retracts back into the syringe’s barrel so the healthcare worker can safely dispose of it. 

Hospitals and healthcare systems use safety needles to protect workers from accidental needlestick injury, which can also expose them to diseases, Kirchofer said in an email. 

A spokesperson for Carey told the AP that the singer was in the studio on Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

“Really, doesn’t everyone have better things to spend their energy on?” Nicole Perna, Carey’s spokesperson, said in an email. “Why anyone thinks she would fake this is beyond us.”  


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: