#Magnetchallenge Fact Check: Covid-19 vaccine does not have magnets

Physics and medical experts have described as fake news claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain metals or microchips that make people magnetic. The claims follow a viral TikTok video showing a woman alleging that a magnet stuck to an embedded chip in her arm after getting the Covid jab.

“You go figure it out. We’re all chipped!” she exclaimed in the now removed viral footage which has made several people even here in Malawi thinking that AstraZaneca and all other Covid vaccines contain metal devices or are a means of planting microchips in people all over the world.

The video led to a #magnetchallenge on social media where people showed magnets attracted to the arms of alleged jab. The people alleged that the phenomenon was proof that people were microchipped.

Verdict: The claims, according to renown health experts, are completely false. COVID-19 vaccines do not include metal ingredients.

Dr. Angela Branche, an infectious disease physician, and researcher at University in Rochester in New York 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 told NBC.

“All vaccines including the COVID vaccine are just a training exercise for your immune system, not the thing itself that protects you.”

Similarly, BBC’s Reality Check also found claims by the #magnetchallenge as outrageously false. In an interview with physicist Eric Palm who researches powerful magnets, the programme’s Jack Goodman found that “none of the Covid vaccines contain metals that could possibly be magnetic”.

“The vaccine needles are extremely small for magnetic particles [with] enough force for it to keep a magnet stuck to your skin”, Palm told the BBC.


Reuters note that even if COVID-19 vaccines did contain metals, they would not cause a magnetic reaction, citing medical professionals at the Meedan Health Desk.

“The amount of metal that would need to be in a vaccine for it to attract a magnet is much more substantial than the amounts that could be present in a vaccine’s small dose”

The experts said that humans are all naturally “a little bit magnetic”, because we contain tiny quantities of iron. However, the combination of iron and water in the body repels magnets very slightly, and this function is the basis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans that allow doctors to assess your organs in hospitals .

Professor Michael Coey from the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin  also told Reuters that the #magnetchallenge claims are “complete nonsense” because a person would need about one gram of iron metal to attract and support a permanent magnet at the injection site, something you would “easily feel” if it was there.

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.

Palm observed that the materials were stuck to people’s skin due to skin oil. He said: “You can easily get a coin stick to your skin, we have all done that as children – sticking coins to our foreheads, because of the surface oil on the skin” or the sticky surface of the object being used.

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.

VERDICT

False. Experts say vaccinated individuals cannot experience magnetism and that Covid-19 Vaccine and all other vaccines do not contain metal or microchips.

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