Fact check: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did not pop to get flu

A video circulating on social media shows Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk apparently receiving a vaccine with a syringe covered with a cap. Some users claim that the scene proves that Palaszczuk did not receive the vaccine at all. The scene from April 2020 lacks context. Full footage shows Palaszczuk getting her flu shot moments earlier, and the recording shows a version of the scene, allowing photographers to capture the moment.

Reuters fact check. REUTERS

Some repetitions incorrectly refer to Palaszczuk (here) as “Australia’s Prime Minister”. Australia’s Prime Minister is Scott Morrison (www.pm.gov.au/).

While versions of this allegation have been around since April (here), the video has received attention again as the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered outside a trial on December 8 in Britain (here)

A tweet with this claim was posted on December 8 here (archived version archive.vn/JhqcV) has been viewed more than 200,000 times since the publication of this check. The report reads: “The Prime Minister of Australia has taken the vaccine, with the cap still in the needle. As I keep saying, all governments follow the same scripture. ”

The same edited video with the false claim has been visible on YouTube since at least June 22 (here, here, here). It contains a voice in Spanish that includes messages such as “The Prime Minister of Australia, promoting the vaccine when she does not take the vaccine herself” and “They promote the vaccine, but not even the politicians take it”

Full footage by the Australian newspaper 7NewsBrisbane (see logo below right) here and here , shows how Palaszczuk got her flu shot moments before. A needle without a hood is visible around time stamp 0:27.

For the re-enactment of the scene for photographers to capture the moment, the doctor then uses a syringe on which there was a shell. Palaszczuk and the doctor are clearly standing still, with sounds of camera shutters in the background, from time stamp 0:47 to 0:57.

The Australian outlet also rejected the claim here.

At the time of publication of this article, Australia has yet to approve another COVID-19 vaccine. The country’s pharmaceutical regulator said on December 2 that it was on track to review Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021, while the country was holding (here) according to a schedule for March to start vaccinations.


Missing context. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, moments after receiving her flu shot in April 2020, re-set the scene for photographers to capture the moment.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.