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Fact Check: The White House Corrects Itself After False Claim About Vaccine
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Fact Check: The White House Corrects Itself After False Claim About Vaccine

It was not the first time that the Biden administration made the claim.

At 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, the official White House Twitter account published a tweet claiming that there was no vaccine when President Joe Biden came into office. 

 

The tweet has quickly gone viral, and has been liked close to 10,000 times and retweeted almost 5,000 times. But the claim is false. 

This isn’t the first time Biden or his administration has made a similar claim. In February 2021, at his first town hall as president, during a segment on his administration’s plan for vaccine distribution, Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “We talked about it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office, but a vaccinator. How do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?”

The first COVID-19 vaccine was actually administered on December 14, 2020, to Sandra Lindsay, an employee at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. As we have reported before, 10,000 vaccines were distributed that same day. 

On December 21, 2020, Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and then received his second dose of the vaccine on January 11, 2021. Furthermore, as we noted, the Bloomberg COVID-19 vaccine tracker indicates that on January 19, one day before Biden took office, 927,000 doses of the COVID vaccine were administered. 

On May 13, the official White House Twitter account published another tweet acknowledging that they had “misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021.” 

If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at factcheck@thedispatch.com. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email corrections@thedispatch.com.

Correction, May 15, 2022: This article initially used the wrong dates for Biden’s vaccination.

Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.