A list of the ingredients used in COVID-19 vaccines is publicly available, and the ingredients don’t include microchips. Yet claims advancing conspiracy theories that they do continue to flourish. A recent video purports to show a microchip reader for pets detecting a chip in a vaccinated person’s arm — but the original video was created as a joke.
Conspiracy theories about microchips in COVID-19 vaccines started circulating before any vaccines were even available.
The first one we wrote about was in April 2020 — eight months before the first vaccines rolled out in the U.S. Most recently, we debunked a claim that magnets were sticking to the arms of vaccinated people, allegedly proving that they had microchips in their arms.
Now a similar claim is circulating in a video that originated on TikTok, where it’s been viewed more than 15 million times, and has been copied and shared widely on Facebook.
The video shows a veterinary clinic worker in Ohio who says to someone off camera, “Look what I just figured out, Justine. Scan this arm.” A microchip reader for pets then appears and scans her arm, showing nothing. “Now here’s my vaccinated arm,” she says, and the scanner shows a series of numbers.
The original video was shared with the hashtags, “#vaccinesideeffect #chipped #chipfinder #covidvaccine #covidvaccinesideeffects.” After the video had received millions of views and thousands of comments, the person who posted it wrote, “you guys clearly don’t know what a joke [is]. it’s obviously a dog chip… you guys believe anything on the internet.”
We reached out for further comment, but didn’t hear back.
Copies of the video that have been circulating on Facebook give no indication that it was made as a joke, and one version, which has received 11,000 views, was posted with this text: “They are literally tagging and tracking everybody taking the Jab.”
But, as we’ve explained before, a list of the ingredients for each vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. is publicly available, and the ingredients don’t include microchips.
Also, the manufacturer of the detection device shown in the video uses microchips that it describes on its website as being about the size of a grain of rice, 1.4 millimeters wide by 10.3 millimeters long.
The needles used to administer the COVID-19 vaccines are much smaller than that. They deliver the vaccine through a tube that measures less than half a millimeter wide.
So, as with the other microchip claims we’ve addressed, this video doesn’t prove anything nefarious about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Editor’s note: SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control over our editorial decisions, and the views expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while decreasing the impact of misinformation.
Spencer, Saranac Hale. “Conspiracy Theory Misinterprets Goals of Gates Foundation.” FactCheck.org. 14 Apr 2020.
Fichera, Angelo. “Magnet Videos Refuel Bogus Claim of Vaccine Microchips.” FactCheck.org. 14 May 2021.
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Department of Health and Human Services. Product Information Guide for COVID-19 Vaccines and Associated Products. 2 Mar 2021.
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