The redesigned syringe is part of Apple’s iOS 14.5 beta, which also has a number of new emoji options, including a heart on fire, a face with swirly eyes and the ability for both women and men to have beards.
Eliminating the blood from the syringe emoji makes it more appropriate to represent Covid-19 vaccination, said Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer of Emojipedia, an online emoji dictionary. (He also said the change doesn’t prevent the emoji from being used to represent donating blood.)
The move to make the emoji less graphic comes amid the largest vaccine rollout in US history.
“Removing the blood makes this emoji more versatile, and also might remove any misconception that vaccination involves blood,” Burge told CNN Business. “Whether this directly impacts how the emoji is used or if it assists vaccination rates we don’t yet know, but it shouldn’t hurt.”