Facebook users are sharing links to misinformation posted on the website of conspiracy theorist David Icke. The headline on the site falsely claims that people who have been vaccinated are “‘transmitting artificial intelligence synthetic ‘affliction’ to the unvaccinated with multiple effects including menstruation/fertility issues”. The page also includes a video, where a number of false and damaging claims are made about vaccines.
We’ve written before about false claims that simply being close to someone who has had the vaccine can give you side effects. There is nothing in the Covid-19 vaccines that would cause this to happen. There is also no evidence that vaccines affect fertility.
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“Artificial intelligence” refers to any human-like intelligence exhibited by a machine, such as a computer or robot. This is not relevant to the vaccines, which are not mechanical and could not use artificial intelligence to transmit anything.
A meme on the page alongside the video says the “nano-tech” vaccine is a “bioweapon”. This is not true. One of the speakers in the video claims that the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines use nanotechnology, which they go on to say are “pretty much little tiny computer bits, they can actually be nanobots'' which can accumulate data from the body, connect to WiFi, receive messages and react to 5G and smartphones.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines do use nanoparticles, which is just a generic term for very small particles that can be found in nature or be man-made. They are often used in medicine.
Both vaccines use lipid nanoparticles (small structures with an outer layer of fat that doesn’t dissolve in water) to deliver some genetic code (mRNA) of a specific protein on the virus surface to human cells. The body can then make this protein, so the immune system can recognise it later if infected and launch a successful immune response.
Lipid nanoparticles are not nanobots, and there is nothing in the vaccine which will collect data or connect to WiFi. Outside of vaccines, nanoparticles have been used to deliver drugs in the body since the early 1990s.
Transmitting to the unvaccinated
As we have written before, the three Covid-19 vaccines approved in the UK (Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna) do not contain any materials that could lead to vaccine shedding.
Fears about vaccine shedding, especially in live attenuated vaccines, are based on viral shedding, the process by which cells of the body release viral particles and could therefore, theoretically, increase the risk of infecting others. Live attenuated vaccines contain whole bacteria or viruses which have been weakened (attenuated) so they can stimulate an immune response but do not actually cause the disease in healthy people.
None of the Covid-19 vaccines authorised in the UK use a live version of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Multiple speakers in the video claim that people who have received the vaccine can “transmit” to people who have not, with various claims of unvaccinated people who have been near to vaccinated people suffering from nosebleeds, irregular periods, miscarriage, bleeding wounds and even Covid-19. There is no evidence that any of these things have occurred because of someone being close to a person who has been vaccinated, and no biological or scientific reason why they would.
There is no evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility.
Guidance from the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists and British Fertility Society, published in February, states: “There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men.” It also says the Covid-19 vaccine will not affect risk of miscarriage.
There is absolutely nothing to suggest that simply being near to someone who has had a vaccine would cause fertility issues of any kind.