Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, various conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine have arisen, with one of the most popular pieces of false information being that the shots contain microchips.
Now, scientists have debunked another trend related to this conspiracy theory that has been circulating widely on social media—the so-called COVID vaccine magnet challenge.
Recently, videos have emerged on social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok, in which people place small magnets on the arm of someone who has purportedly received a COVID-19 vaccine shot.
The magnets appear to stick to the arm on the site where the COVID-19 vaccine shot was allegedly administered (apparently proving the microchip conspiracy theory). But experts told Newsweek that a magnet will not stick to someone’s arm because of the injection.
Edward Hutchinson, a lecturer with the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, told Newsweek, that, first of all, the coronavirus vaccine was not produced using materials that are particularly magnetic.
“Secondly, even if it was (and it is not) you would need to introduce a large lump of magnetic material beneath the skin to get the action through the skin that the videos claim to show—if you want to give this a go, try getting a fridge magnet to pick up anything, particularly tiny bits of metal, through the skin between your thumb and index finger,” he said.
“Thirdly, even if it was plausible (and it isn’t) why would this have any bearing on whether the vaccine is working—it doesn’t.”
Al Edwards, an associate professor in biomedical technology from the University of Reading in England, also told Newsweek that there is “absolutely no way” that magnets can stick to people’s arms as a result of an injection.
“There is nothing magnetic in vaccine formulations, most of what is injected is extremely pure water, plus some simple salts to make the injection less painful, and an absolutely tiny amount of vaccine,” he said.
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