With Covid vaccine now being available in few countries and India preparing to roll out the immunization program in the next few weeks, the bizarreness of conspiracy theories and misinformation is pacing up. In a recent claim, a meme is being shared as a ‘scientific discovery’ that “for male patients, the penis offers the fastest release of the vaccine throughout the body.” It is also claimed that the findings are based on the findings of the University of California based on a study involving 1,500 men who received the vaccine.
Dissecting the bizarre claim “Doctors encourage Covid-19 vaccine injection in penis”
A netizen @RoflIndian provided the counter for the claim. He said that the photograph of the doctor in the meme is of Dr Mohitkumar Ardesana, MD, a primary care physician of Claremont Medical Centre, California. The picture on the right is a medical sketch of penile self-injection by illustrator Mary Ann Zapalac.
Fake news. The doctor in the picture is Dr Mohitkumar Ardesana, MD, a primary care physician of Claremont Medical Centre, California. The picture on the right is a medical sketch of penile self injection by celebrated illustrator Mary Ann Zapalac. The rest is all bull crap. https://t.co/haSoHaTI4X— Roflindian (@Roflindian) January 2, 2021
Cross verification of the images and the text by OpIndia
We decided to cross-check the information provided by RoflIndian, and this is what we found. When we searched the name “Mohitkumar Ardesana” we reached to the LinkedIn profile of Dr. Mohit. His profile suggests that he is currently working at Primary care Physician at Claremont Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
We also found his image used in the meme. The same image is used in the Claremont Medical Center’s (owned by Dr. Mohit) Instagram profile like the profile image.
Now coming to the second image that has shocked many people. When we reverse searched the image, it provided more information about the image. It was created by a well-known illustrator Mary Ann Zapalac who has worked on several medical projects in the last 27 years. Zapalac did her masters in medical illustration from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and running her business as a medical illustrator since 1993.
The image talks about Penile Injection Therapy that is an effective way to treat erectile dysfunction. These injections are generally self-administered at home and help in improving blood flow resulting in firmer erections. The image has no relation to Covid-19 or any other vaccine whatsoever.
The claim that the University of California did any study by injecting Covid-19 vaccine in the penis of 1,500 men was not valid either. The University did no such research. The claim made in the viral image is FAKE.