No graphene oxide in Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine

30 November 2023
What was claimed

Graphene oxide is used in Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Our verdict

False. Graphene oxide was used as a tool in the lab during the vaccine’s development—not as an ingredient in the vaccine itself.

A post on Facebook suggests that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine contains graphene oxide.

This is not true, as we have said before.

The post shares a screenshot of what seems to be a Pfizer-branded document, which describes a study “to express and characterize the vaccine antigen” in the Pfizer Covid vaccine (now called Comirnaty).

The section in the screenshot contains a sentence that says: “For TwinStrep-tagged P2 S, 4 μL purified protein at 0.5 mg/mL were applied to gold Quantifoil R1.2/1.3 300 mesh grids freshly overlaid with graphene oxide.”

In a caption alongside this, the post says: “do you remember when we were told graphene oxide is not used in mRNA covid vaccines? Crazy ‘conspiracy theorists’.”

Graphene oxide has a number of uses in biotechnology and other fields. There is evidence that it may be toxic in certain situations.

But the screenshot does not mean that graphene oxide was used “in” the vaccine itself. It means graphene oxide was used in a laboratory as a tool with which to study a sample during the vaccine’s development.

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which released the document, previously told Full Fact, and as it has said online: “Graphene oxide is included in a sentence on page 7 to describe, in part, the laboratory procedure pertaining to the study of the structural characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using a specific type of microscope. Graphene oxide is a material to aid in the imaging of the protein. Graphene oxide is not an ingredient in the vaccine.”

Pfizer itself also previously told us: “Graphene oxide is not used in the manufacture of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. There is no graphene oxide used in the manufacturing process and there is none in the raw materials or the final vaccine product.”

The same point appears in a statement on Pfizer’s website.

We have fact checked many false and misleading claims about graphene oxide and Covid vaccines in the past.

Bad information about medicines and other treatments can be seriously harmful if people use it to make misinformed decisions about their health.

Image courtesy of CDC

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