COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain microchips and have readily available ingredient lists. But social media posts use an old clip of the Pfizer CEO talking about an “electronic pill” for schizophrenia to leave the false impression he was confirming a conspiracy theory about microchips in the vaccines.
With the release of its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer switched the buffer used in its formulation to increase the stability of the product, allowing it to remain at refrigerator temperatures for longer. The Food and Drug Administration OK’d the change, which is also being made to some doses for teens and adults. Social media posts, however, misleadingly suggest that the ingredient swap is dangerous or was added to prevent heart attacks in children.
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.
The COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna uses an ingredient called SM-102 to deliver the mRNA that carries instructions for how to develop antibodies against the novel coronavirus. A widely shared video is now spreading the falsehood that SM-102 is harmful, but the warning label it shows is for chloroform, not SM-102.
The ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are publicly available. Yet a false claim that the vaccines contain microchips is receiving renewed attention through a spate of videos of people claiming that magnets stick to their arms after vaccination. Experts say none of the ingredients would cause this supposed effect.
The full ingredient list for any authorized COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and in a variety of documents on the Food and Drug Administration’s website, including in a fact sheet for vaccine recipients that’s available in numerous languages.
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain messenger RNA, or mRNA;
A video circulating on social media falsely claims that vaccines for COVID-19 have a microchip that “tracks the location of the patient.” The chip, which is not currently in use, would be attached to the end of a plastic vial and provide information only about the vaccine dose. It cannot track people.