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Fact Check-Electromagnetic field reader test does not prove COVID-19 vaccine emits radiation

Vaccines for COVID-19 do not contain ingredients that could produce an electromagnetic field at the site of injection, physics and medical experts told Reuters.

A video here of an electromagnetic field reader allegedly detecting an electric field on the arm of a COVID-19 vaccine recipient is being shared (here) by social media users who claim that this proves the vaccine is harmful and could cause radiation poisoning. Captions on the video include “EMF READER ON A V SITE” and “This is why people are getting radiation poisoning symptoms like bloody noses from being around the V’ed. They’re emitting/transmitting.”

Reuters has previously shown here that experts say vaccinated individuals cannot experience magnetism at the injection site. Reuters has also debunked baseless conspiracies about microchips in coronavirus vaccines throughout the pandemic (here , here , here , here and here).

The U.S. government National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website here that electric and magnetic fields are “invisible areas of energy, often referred to as Radiation.” They are typically grouped into non-ionizing, “low-level radiation which is generally perceived as harmless to humans” (such as power lines and TV/radio waves), and ionizing, which is high-frequency and “has the potential for cellular and DNA damage” (such as x-rays and radioactive waste).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) website says here that exposure to electromagnetic fields is not new, and while exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can be harmful, low level electromagnetic fields are not generally considered harmful: “everyone is exposed to a complex mix of weak electric and magnetic fields, both at home and at work, from the generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting.”

Dr. Matthew Laurens, Associate Professor and Vaccine Researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (here), told Reuters via email that people are exposed to small electric and magnetic fields every day and “no evidence exists that this low-level exposure adversely affects an individual’s health.”

The ingredients for the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States and the United Kingdom (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen and Oxford-AstraZeneca) can be seen here , here , here and here .

Medical professionals at the Meedan Health Desk say here , “Only certain levels of radiation can trigger high levels of EMFs. Importantly, no vaccine approved for emergency use contains any metals or radiation technology that would produce such levels. […] None of the ingredients in any of the vaccines are ionizing or non-ionizing sources of EMF.”

A spokesperson for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine team told Reuters via email that “there is nothing in the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients that would emit an EMF.”

Keanna Ghazvini, a spokesperson for Pfizer told Reuters via email, “There is nothing in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that would cause harmful electromagnetic fields or radiation poisoning.”

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

“No component of the mRNA vaccines contains radioactive material that would cause an individual to emit radiation differently than an unvaccinated individual,” Laurens told Reuters via email. Laurens said that all humans emit some amount of radiation, such as thermal radiation, where the amount emitted depends on body temperature.

Professor Michael Coey from the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin (here) told Reuters via email, “I know no way in which a vaccine could possibly emit an electromagnetic field.”

Dr John Dawson, Associate Professor at the University of York who specializes in electromagnetics, told Reuters via email that he could “conceive of no mechanism for such EMF generation” saying it is therefore “highly likely that such claims are false”. He added that while more information would be needed on the exact nature of measurements to be able to comment conclusively, it is most likely that the electromagnetic field picked up in these videos was caused by another source, or misuse of the detector.

In response to trying to understand why the reader may have detected an EMF the Meedan Health Desk experts say here “All people and objects emit some (usually low) level of EMF radiation. In people, this is because of tiny electrical currents in our bodies. The currents come from chemical reactions that are part of normal body functions. A number of things could increase someone’s EMFs levels, such as radiation therapy, metallic implants, titanium implants, hearing implants, and more. When measuring EMFs, even objects nearby can set off a high reading. That's the case even if it's only slightly closer to an individual with a high reading than to an individual with a low reading.”

VERDICT

False. Medical and electromagnetics professions told Reuters that there are no ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines that would generate an EMF.

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

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