Monday, March 1, 2021
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Home Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Fake Image Of COVID-19 ‘Vaporizer’ Vaccine Goes Viral With Pfizer’s Logo And...

Fake Image Of COVID-19 ‘Vaporizer’ Vaccine Goes Viral With Pfizer’s Logo And ‘Made in China’ Tag

Days after Pfizer rolled out its injectable COVID-19 vaccine, several Twitter users shared a claim suggesting that the pharma company issued a ‘vape vaccine’. The viral claim includes images of a newly packed coronavirus vaccine termed “vaporizer cartridge”. Another highlight in the claim’s image includes the tag, “Made in China” on the bottom-right corner of the package.

https://twitter.com/Angelharr1994/status/1340973024158355457?s=20

The viral image shows a liquid-filled cartridge in a sealed pack with Pfizer’s logo. The package also mentions the pharma company as Makers of “The Boner Pill”. 

Many other users have shared this claim. You can view the same here

We received this claim multiple times on our Whatsapp verification helpline number as well. 

Screenshot of viral image from Whatsapp
Screenshot of viral image from Whatsapp

On the other hand, a few Twitter users shared an alleged original image of the claim, which does not include the ‘Made in China’ tag. However, many have now deleted this image. 

This is in view of the Coronavirus Disease 2019, which has infected around 7.8 crore people and taken 17 lakh lives worldwide, as per John Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard on 23 December. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused COVID-19 is known to have originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

We first reached out to Pfizer to clarify the authenticity of the claim and image. Pfizer refuted the claim in an email response, saying that “the image below is not a real Pfizer product.” And confirmed that the image with the viral claim is fake. 

Continuing our research, we found that the real COVID-19 vaccine by the American pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, is manufactured in collaboration with BioNTech, a German company. As per the United States health agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is named “BNT162b2”.

Screenshot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from CDC's website
Screenshot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from CDC’s website

Contrary to the claim’s image which shows the Pfizer product to be a vaporizer (generally inhaled through the nose or mouth), the company’s vaccine is in fact an injection given into the upper arm as two doses at least 21 days apart. The National Health Service also includes information on its use and safety in the United Kingdom. 

Additionally, Pfizer’s website does not include any vaccine named “vaporizer cartridge”. The website also clearly states that “the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals 16 years of age and older.”

Screenshot of Pfizer's website
Screenshot of Pfizer’s website

Recently, Pfizer also released a statement on their vaccine’s production and distribution. 

You can read more about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in New Scientist’s explainer here

More On The Viral Image 

Given what we know about the global pharmaceutical company and the vaccine, we noticed a few odd elements on the viral image. First, the name of the vaccine, BNT162b2, which we mentioned earlier isn’t written anywhere on the package. Second, the vaccine is an injection to be administered in two doses whereas the viral image shows it as a vaporizer for a single dose. 

Next, the package shows no mention of BioNTech on it though the tagline “Makers of the boner pill” makes its way on it, likely as a joke. Finally, the vaccine is being manufactured in the US and Belgium with no mention of China in this regard in its official statement

Viral image of Coronavirus Vaccine "vaporizer cartridge" with Pfizer's logo
Viral image of Coronavirus Vaccine “vaporizer cartridge” with Pfizer’s logo

The viral image appeared in a Reddit Community called “fakecartridges” three days back. 

Screenshot of viral image from Reddit community "fakecatridges"
Screenshot of viral image from Reddit community “fakecatridges”

A reverse image search on TinyEye also takes us back to the viral image posted on Reddit and Imgur on 20 and 21 December. It was shared on Twitter as early as 20 December as well. 

We debunked this claim in our Hindi fact-check as well. 

Conclusion

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has not made its COVID-19 vaccine as a ‘vaporizer cartridge’ nor was it ‘Made in China’. The product in the claim’s image is fake. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Email response by Pfizer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html

National Health Service, UK: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

Pfizer: https://www.pfizer.com/products-list?letter=C

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine press release: https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-celebrate-historic-first-authorization

Pfizer’s official vaccine statement: https://pfe-pfizercom-d8-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/2020-12/COVID%2019%20Vaccine%20Production%20Distribution%20Statement%20121720.pdf?qkSfPpeyLDVmlkO6VoFoGslJEB7HB8YO

New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2261805-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

Nikita Vashisth
Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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