A number of posts on Facebook show a screenshot of the Companies House web page for a company called “Omicron Nanotechnology Limited”, and imply the naming of the new Covid-19 variant, also called Omicron, is somehow related.
We have fact checked several claims over the pandemic about the vaccine containing nanoparticles or using nanotechnology that can have negative effects, which isn’t the case.
Companies House registers and dissolves limited companies and collects and publishes company information.
It’s true that there is a record of a company called Omicron Nanotechnology Limited on Companies House, which was incorporated in 1996 and dissolved in 2019. Its nature of business was described as manufacturing “special-purpose machinery”.
An organisation called Scienta Omicron says on its website that it was formed “in 2015 by the merger of two of the most renowned companies in the field of Surface Science: VG Scienta and Omicron NanoTechnology”.
Scienta Omicron says it “is a leading innovator in surface science and nanotechnology” and sells advanced analysis equipment to scientists. Surface science is generally the study of the interface between two phases of materials, for example between a liquid and gas or a gas and a solid. The nanotechnology it refers to is in areas like electron spectroscopy, where samples of materials are analysed by firing radiation at them and measuring the subatomic particles, called electrons, that they emit.
A director listed on Companies House of the dissolved company has the occupation “President of Scienta Scientific Ab”, which seems to be a group that includes Scienta Omicron.
We’ve previously checked claims that nanoparticles in vaccines are harmful. But nanoparticles are a generic term for very small units of size, both man-made and natural. While it’s true that the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines do contain lipid nanoparticles, these are just small structures with an outer layer of fat to protect their contents so they don’t dissolve in water.
The name of this company has nothing to do with the Covid-19 variant that’s recently been identified in the UK and several other countries, called Omicron, except the fact that they are both named after a Greek letter.
In May 2021, the World Health Organisation announced that it was recommending assigning letters of the Greek alphabet to key variants of Covid-19 as they were easier to say than similar sounding chains of letters and numbers and less stigmatising than naming them after the countries they were first identified in.
The WHO categorises the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron mutations as “variants of concern” and Lambda and Mu as “variants of interest”.