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 swirling 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, chief emoji officer at Emojipedia, an online emoji dictionary. (He also said the change does not prevent emoji from being used to represent blood donation.)
The move to make emoji less graphic is one of the largest vaccines in US history.
“Blood removal makes this emoji more versatile, and can also clear up any misconception that vaccination involves blood,” Burge told CNN Business. “Whether this directly affects how emoji are used, or whether it helps the vaccination rate, we do not yet know, but it should not hurt.”