Back to Africa Check

Uganda’s health minister was vaccinated against Covid-19 – video shows re-enactment for journalists soon after

A video of Ugandan health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng pretending to get a Covid-19 vaccine jab was posted on Facebook on 11 March 2021 and has since been viewed more than 20,000 times. 

In the video, a medic brings the syringe needle close to Aceng’s arm. But it’s clear that the syringe is empty, and the needle does not penetrate her skin.

“FAKE UGANDA UGANDA,” its caption reads. “YOU CAN’T HIDE A LIE THIS IS HOW THE USELESS MINISTER ACHENG HAS DECIDED TO FOOL THE WORLD.”

On 10 March, Uganda’s health ministry tweeted an entirely different video of Aceng being given an injection.

 

 

“The Minister for Health, @JaneRuth_Aceng, has received the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine now at Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal Hospital #COVIDVaccinationUG,” the tweet reads.

Was Aceng lying and trying to “fool the world” in the first video? Or is there context missing here?

Uganda_Misleading

‘Stop spreading fake news’

Both Aceng and the health ministry have dismissed the Facebook post.

“Please ignore the fake video making rounds on social media indicating that @JaneRuth_Aceng was not vaccinated against COVID,” the ministry tweeted on 11 March. “Below is the actual video taken during the launch of the #COVIDVaccinationUG campaign where @JaneRuth_Aceng was the 1st individual to get vaccinated.”

 

 

The video shows the same scene tweeted the day before, shot from a different angle. It is clear that the syringe needle penetrated her arm and the vaccine dose was delivered.

Aceng also tweeted this third video, saying: “For those deliberately trying to convince the public that I was not vaccinated against COVID-19 yesterday, take a look at the video below. I was vaccinated using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine during the #COVIDVaccinationUG launch. Please stop spreading fake news!”

‘The fake is a true fake’

Uganda’s Observer newspaper explained what was going on, saying Aceng had in fact taken the jab.

“#Uganda Health minister 'fake' #COVID19 vaccination explained,” it tweeted. “[According] to several journalists who covered the event [including] our own [Nicholas Bamulanzeki], she actually took the jab. However some journos who'd missed clear shots asked her to ‘fake’ the vaccination again. The fake is a true fake.”

 

 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Further Reading