A screenshot of a CNN news article has gone viral on the internet that claims that “doctors are advocating injecting COVID-19 vaccines in the penis."
However, we found that the screenshot was doctored as the format differed from other stories published on the news channel’s website. Furthermore, the doctor whose portrait has been included in the viral image made no such claim, nor is there any study to prove that COVID-19 vaccines should be administered in the penis.
The viral image contained a headline that read, “Doctors encourage COVID-19 vaccine injections in penis.”
The sub-header said, “Doctors are discovering that, for male patients, the penis offers the fastest release of the vaccine throughout the body,” while the first line of the article read, “Based on findings from a University of California study involving 1,500 men who received the vaccine…”
The same image was massively shared on Facebook and was also found on Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We tried to look for a CNN article with the headline mentioned in the viral post but were unable to find any.
When we looked at other articles on the CNN website, we found that the format of those was different from the viral screenshot.
The viral image didn’t have a byline or a dateline while all CNN articles mention those details. The alignment of the text was also different as CNN articles are left-aligned. Further, the headline in the viral image ended with a full stop.
Upon conducting a reverse image search of the image, we found the source of both the images in the viral post – the doctor and the illustration.
We found the same image posted on Claremont Medical Center’s Facebook page that identified the doctor in the viral post as Dr Mohitkumar Ardeshana MD, a practitioner at Claremont Medical Center in Claremont, California.
Dr Ardeshana told fact-checking website BOOM that “The article is completely fake. I have not said anything about such a study. It is a work of mischief by someone.”
We also found that the illustration seen in the viral image pointing at the “safe area for injection” into a penis came from instruction guidelines for self-injection for erectile dysfunction treatment. We found the illustration on the website of the BayCare group.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine is supposed to be administered on the upper arm of the recipient. A nasal vaccine for COVID-19 is also in the works but it is still in the research phase. There is no mention of a vaccine that can be injected in the penis.
Evidently, a morphed image was shared to falsely claim that “doctors are advocating injecting COVID-19 vaccines in the penis.”