Fact Check: COVID vaccine magnet challenge | WHEC.com

Fact Check: COVID vaccine magnet challenge

Nikki Rudd
Created: May 25, 2021 05:49 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Have you seen the COVID vaccine magnet challenge?

There are all sorts of videos going around on social media. So can magnets really stick to your arm after getting the shot? News10NBC's Nikki Rudd has a fact check. 

"You go figure it out. We're all chipped!" exclaimed a woman in a viral video. She claims a magnet stuck to an embedded chip in her arm after getting the shot.

In a TikTok video, you can see a baby Yoda magnet sticking to someone's arm who got the vaccine. Most of these posts have been removed, but not before a lot of people saw them. 

These videos and claims have people thinking the vaccines have metal devices or ingredients and some believe we're getting micro-chipped. Health experts say no way. This is completely false. COVID-19 vaccines do not include metal ingredients. In fact, most of what is injected are lipids, proteins, salts and sugars. 

Dr. Angela Branche, an infectious disease physician, and researcher at URMC, says all the materials in the vaccine degrade in your body within days. 

"What is left is the triggering of your body's own natural immune system, which then does what it's supposed to do: it learns to defend you and becomes a memory response that can be recalled to your defense if you are exposed COVID-19," Dr. Branche said. "All vaccines including the COVID vaccine are just a training exercise for your immune system, not the thing itself that protects you."

While the COVID-19 vaccines are new, Dr. Branche says the technology to make the vaccines and the ingredients have been around for decades and a part of medical treatment. 

"It's not all that dissimilar from vaccines against the flu, measles, shingles and many others," Dr. Branche said. 

Want to see the list of vaccine ingredients for yourself? Here's what's posted on the CDC website: 

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000] -N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG]  2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG] ,
cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC] ), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, and sucrose.

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride.
Click here for our Good Question report to learn more about vaccine ingredients.

Here's something else to keep in mind: the typical dose of the Pfizer vaccine is about 0.3 milliliters. Moderna and Johnson and Johnson are 0.5ml. Experts say that's not big enough to squeeze in a typical microchip. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians says his about the microchip rumor: 

"There is not a microchip in the vaccines. This false rumor started after comments about digital vaccine records. State electronic immunization records help patients and physicians track vaccines they have received. There are no electronic components in the vaccines. The mRNA, lipids (fat bubble), salts and other stabilizing agents are routinely used in other medicines."

Maybe you're still left wondering how did the magnets stick in those videos? Experts believe people may have positioned their arms so the magnets didn't fall or stuck them on with something like tape or glue. 

And remember the old stick a quarter to your forehead or a spoon on your nose tricks? These could be similar situations where moisture on your skin helps make a lightweight object stick. 


Check out other Fact Checks here.

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