Anti-Vaxxers Claim This Politician’s Flu Shot Was Fake, But They’re Only Using Half The Footage

    Anti-vaxxers are using footage of Australian politician Annastacia Palaszczuk re-enacting a flu shot to claim she never got the vaccine. But she did.

    On Tuesday, Annastacia Palaszczuk — the premier of the Australian state of Queensland — addressed the media with the good news that there had been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the state overnight.

    But, she warned, the social distancing measures required to contain the coronavirus in Australia have seen low numbers of people getting their annual influenza vaccines.

    Queensland has reached a welcome milestone in the COVID-19 crisis, with the number of active cases in the state dipping to a level not seen in weeks. Once again, no new cases were recorded overnight. https://t.co/ly4o1sVyAG @JoelDry7 #7NEWS

    As part of a push to encourage people to get their flu shot, Palaszczuk received her vaccination in front of television cameras.

    Then, she re-enacted it once again for the cameras — this time, with a cap on the needle.

    It kicked off a conspiracy theory that the premier had lied about getting a jab at all.

    In the footage broadcast by 7NEWS Brisbane on TV and shared to its social media profiles, the syringe that is pressed against Palaszczuk appears to have the cap on.

    7NEWS

    But a longer clip of Palaszczuk released by 7NEWS today clearly shows the premier received an actual flu shot — and was then asked to re-enact the shot so members of the media could photograph the moment.

    “That was so quick!” Premier @AnnastaciaMP was filmed getting her flu shot yesterday before being asked by a photographer to re-enact the moment for more pictures. https://t.co/VZ3A1cGXPF #7NEWS

    This discrepancy was first noted by TikTok user @dani_driver who shared the footage with the caption: "the flu shot our QLD premier got is about as useless as she is". Posts linking to this TikTok have received more than 6,500 engagements.

    @dani_driver

    The flu shot our QLD premier got is about as useless as she is ##fyp ##foryoupage

    ♬ original sound - dani_driver

    This TikTok account is not associated with the anti-vax movement, however the TikTok video spread across other platforms, and was widely shared in anti-vaccine groups.

    Facebook

    And by far-right Facebook pages.

    Facebook

    It was even shared on Twitter by another Queensland politician, John-Paul Langbroek, from the opposing Liberal National party. "The miracle of the flu shot", he tweeted.

    ‘The miracle of the flu shot 💉 ‘ @QLDLabor @AnnastaciaMP

    Anti-vaccination groups on Facebook shared Palaszczuk's other posts about the vaccination, which were subsequently flooded with negative comments.

    Facebook

    In summary: yes, the cap was on for the re-enactment. But Palaszczuk really did get the shot.

    Cameron Wilson is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Cameron Wilson at cameron.wilson@buzzfeed.com.

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