The BBC did not say that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is planning to put microchips in Covid-19 vaccines

31 July 2020
What was claimed

The BBC published a travel piece saying that there will be microchips in the upcoming vaccines funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so they can track who has been vaccinated for coronavirus.

Our verdict

This is incorrect. The BBC article is a speculative piece on the future of travel following the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no mention of microchips being used in vaccines.

A Facebook post shared hundreds of times has claimed that a BBC article says that there will be microchips in Covid-19 vaccines funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so people who are vaccinated can be tracked. It also claims the BBC article says these microchips will be initially trialled in measles vaccines.

This is not true. The BBC article is a speculative piece on how travel might look in the coming years following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The excerpts of the article screenshotted for evidence are real but do not mention microchips. The “subdermal record” of the vaccine mentioned in the piece is a dye or tattoo invisible to the eye, but readable by a scanner. This dye could be administered along with a vaccine using a microneedle patch. This patch is a technology currently being developed to administer the MMR vaccine. Researchers have shown a dye could be added to these patches, but this hasn’t been tested on people yet.

It is true that research into this technology was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. However, this is not a chip and is simply one way the article suggests travel might change in the future. It also says that paper vaccine passports could be a possibility. 

It is also true that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed funding to develop a vaccine for Covid-19. However, vaccines for the virus across the world are still in development, and it is currently unclear how they will be rolled out.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the BBC article didn’t say this. Instead, it was a speculative look at what might happen to travel in the future. It did not mention microchips.

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