Correction Jun 25, 2021: An earlier version of this check incorrectly described the mechanism of MRI scans and gave an incomplete account of the weak magnetic interactions relating to the human body. These sentences have been removed as they have no bearing on the verdict of the check. This article has also been updated to clarify that not all metals are magnetic.
Vaccines for COVID-19 do not contain metals or microchips that make recipients magnetic at the site of injection, physics and medical experts have told Reuters.
The flawed claim was made in a series of viral videos claiming to show magnets attracted to the arms of alleged jab recipients. Several clips said the supposed phenomenon was proof that people were microchipped (here , here and here), while others provided no explanation for the “magnet challenge” (here and here). Only one video named a specific vaccine, claiming the individual on camera had received the Pfizer/BioNTech shot (here).
However, these posts are not evidence of a magnetic reaction nor that COVID-19 jabs contain a microchip.
Firstly, Reuters has debunked baseless conspiracies about microchips in coronavirus vaccines throughout the pandemic, which often targeted the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates (here , here , here , here and here).
Secondly, none of the COVID-19 jabs approved in the United Kingdom or the United States contain metallic ingredients (here , here , here and here). Many other shots do have small amounts of aluminium, which does not stick to magnets, (here) but Oxford University researchers say this is no more harmful than the minimal quantities found naturally in almost all foods and drinking water (here).
Thirdly, even if COVID-19 vaccines did contain magnetic metals, they would not cause a magnetic reaction. Medical professionals at the Meedan Health Desk said: “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” (here).
Professor Michael Coey from the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin (here) also described the claims as “complete nonsense”, telling Reuters via email that you 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.
“By the way, my wife was injected with her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today, and I had mine over two weeks ago. I have checked that magnets are not attracted to our arms!”, he wrote.
Responding to a “magnet challenge” video specifically claiming to feature a Pfizer jab recipient, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed in an email to Reuters that their vaccine does not contain any metals and cannot cause a magnetic response when it is injected.
False. Experts say vaccinated individuals cannot experience magnetism at the injection site.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.