A picture has been shared widely on Facebook and Twitter in Singapore alongside a claim that it shows a COVID-19 vaccination certificate that contained a warning that the shots will prolong erections and increase penis size. The claim is false; the hospital denied the allegation and genuine vaccine recipients contain no mention of the warning.
The picture was published on February 27, 2021, in a Facebook group with more than 14,000 members.
The picture shows a document labelled "certificate of COVID-19 vaccination" for a recipient who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
"Effects: may cause prolong erection and increase in size (sic)," reads part of the document circled in red.
Text on the document suggests it was issued by Jurong Community Hospital in Singapore.
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post taken on March 5, 2021
Singapore started its COVID-19 vaccination drive in December 2020, making it one of the first Asian nations to roll out inoculations.
However, the picture circulating on social media is not authentic.
COVID-19 vaccination card
A reverse image search on Google, followed by a keyword search, found this Facebook post by JurongHealth Campus.
"FAKE NEWS ALERT," the post reads. "We are aware of a fake and doctored image of a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued by our Staff Clinic based at Jurong Community Hospital that is being circulated online. This is misinformation which was not issued by the hospital."
AFP found photos of genuine vaccination certificates from Jurong Community Hospital posted online by social media users, including here, here, here and here. The certificates contain no reference to the side effects described in the misleading posts.
Genuine side effects
Common side effects of COVID-19 injections can include tenderness, swelling and/or redness at the injection site, headache, muscle ache, fatigue and fever, according to Singapore's Ministry of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Britain's National Health Service and Harvard Medical School.
Below is a screenshot of Singapore's Ministry of Health website on March 5, 2021:
Screenshot of Singapore's MOH website on March 5, 2021
The US Food and Drug Administration published a memorandum on the authorisation of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which made no mention of side effects to the male reproductive system.
AFP Fact Check previously debunked another claim that involved the COVID-19 vaccine and male virility here.
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