Covid-19 vaccines do not make you magnetic

14 May 2021
What was claimed

Magnets can stick to your arm after a Covid-19 jab because they contain a microchip or other metals.

Our verdict

This is false. The vaccines do not contain a microchip and there is nothing in a vaccine that could cause a magnet to stick to your skin after getting it.

Multiple videos seen thousands of times across social media claim to show magnets sticking to peoples’ arms after they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19. 

These videos don’t prove that the contents of the vaccine are magnetic, or contain microchips as claimed in the video. 

Al Edwards, an associate professor in biomedical technology from the University of Reading, told Newsweek there was “absolutely no way" a magnet could stick to a person’s arm after an injection. 

“Your body is made up of exactly the same kind of biological building blocks [as the materials in the vaccine], so there is simply no way that injecting a tiny fragment of this material could have any impact,” he said. “Most food is made of similar molecules, and eating food doesn't make people magnetic."

In an article about similar videos, US factchecker Snopes published a Reuters picture of a magnet attracting a metallic object under the skin. The image clearly shows the skin appearing to “tent”, as one researcher described it, with the skin appearing to visibly pull toward the magnet. None of the videos Full Fact has seen show any evidence of this tenting effect. 

It’s much more likely that the videos are showing adhesion of the magnet to the skin, thanks partly to moisture on the skin’s surface and the fact that the magnet is small and light. This effect is similar to how it’s possible to “stick” a coin to your forehead or balance a spoon on your nose.

There are no microchips in the Covid-19 vaccines

One of the most widely-shared clips ends with someone who claims to have had a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine telling viewers: “We’re chipped.”

Claims that the vaccines contain a microchip have persisted throughout the pandemic, with baseless claims that vaccines will be used to harvest personal data shared repeatedly. Full Fact has covered similar claims in the past

The Covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the UK do not contain microchips, or any device that could track a person’s movements. 

All of the the ingredients for the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been made publicly available. None of them contain enough of anything that would attract a magnet, and certainly no microchips or tracking devices. 

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 vaccines do not contain anything that would make them magnetic enough to attract a magnet.

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