Videos claiming to be of two Tumkur health officials “pretending” to get the new COVID-19 vaccine administered have gone viral on Twitter.
The viral video shows a woman seated on a chair and posing for photographs while a nurse with a vaccine shot is about to administer it on her upper arm. The same video then shows a man seated on the same chair while a nurse is about to dose him with a vaccine shot. People around them can be seen applauding and photographs being taken during this time.
One such claim with the viral video reads, “Tumkur District Medical officer and Govt Nursing College Principal acting as if They Took Corona Vaccine…Vellake nammakam unnattu ledu”
The viral video and claim have received thousands of likes and retweets on Twitter.
Some versions of the claim also state that the BJP politicians only took a photograph without actually being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, and that the district health officials only posed for the photo.
These claims have been published by media organisations as well.
Fact Check/ Verification
The claim in context goes viral after two COVID-19 vaccines, Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are being administered on a priority basis across India.
On doing a reverse image search of keyframes from the viral video we found that the alleged health officials posing for the photographs were Dr Rajani, Principal, Government Medical College and Dr Nagendrappa, District Health Officer, Tumkur District, Karnataka.
So, this clarifies that they don’t belong to the BJP as claimed by some on Twitter.
We also came across The News Minute’s article titled, “TNM fact check: Tumakuru medical officers did not pretend to take the vaccine,” debunking this viral video.
We then reached out to Dr. Nagendrappa, the District Health Officer via Dr. K. Rakesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Tumkur District to verify the claims about the viral video.
“Dr. Rajani and I were vaccinated against corona on January 16. But, since no photo was taken properly that day, we posed for the photo at the request of the media. But, some people mistakenly took the video and published it,” clarified Dr Nagendrappa.
“As doctors we are fighting for the people in the Corona field. How can we refuse being vaccinated as doctors in a way that it breaks people’s trust? Dr. Rajani and I have already taken the vaccine. This is just a pose for a photo.”
This claim has been debunked in our Tamil fact-check as well.
Our research makes it clear that the Tumkur health officials shown in the video were in fact vaccinated against COVID-19 before posing for photographs. Also, the claim on them being BJP politicians is false.
Tumkur Deputy Commissioner: https://tumkurzillapanchayat.gov.in/distadmin.html
Dr. Nagendrappa, District Health Officer Tumkur