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Fact Check-Pfizer has not announced a ‘vaccine upgrade’ that includes a processing chip from Microsoft 

An article that says Pfizer has revealed an upgraded COVID-19 vaccine containing a Microsoft chip is not true – and was intended by its original writers to be humorous.

The piece was posted online with the headline: “Pfizer Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Upgrade, Now Includes Microsoft Chip For Reduced Symptoms”, and goes on to allege Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella said the pluton chip would make it “easier than ever” to track vaccine recipients. The article adds: “It is rumored Apple plans to ink a similar deal with Moderna, but nothing is confirmed yet. Microsoft ($MSFT) shares are down 2% and Pfizer ($PFE) shares are up 1.3% in After Hours trading.”

The article appears to have originally been posted on The Stonk Market, a website that makes clear its articles are not to be taken at face-value (here , thestonkmarket.com/). A note on its website reads: “TheStonkMarket.com is a financial satire site. The site provides unique coverage on the financial industry, stocks, hedge funds and global markets. Mission: To provide daily humor and make stonks go up.”

However, the article was also published verbatim elsewhere on the internet, without any indication it was intended as satire (here).

The link to the duplicated article has been seen thousands of times on Facebook, with some users seemingly left under the illusion that the story is authentic. “Sounds like the perfect plan… I HAVE NO WORDS for those who buy into this BS!!” said one user (here). It has also been shared in Italian (here), Russian (here), and Hebrew (here).

VERDICT

Satire. The original writers intended the article to have humorous effect; however, copies shared on social media that do not make this intention clear have resulted in some users believing it to be authentic.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here  .    

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