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Fact Check-Pictured patent is for contact tracing, not implantable 5G tracking

A claim on social media misidentifies a U.S. patent for a contact tracing device capable of connecting individuals to the internet as being evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are tracking people. The patent, however, is not owned by Pfizer, and the document makes no mention of connecting or tracking individuals via technology that stems from COVID-19 inoculations.

An example of the misleading claim is visible here . The post says, "This Pfizer patent application was approved August 31st, 2021, and is the very first patent that shows up in a list of over 18,500 for the purpose of remote contact tracing of all vaccinated humans worldwide who will be or are now connected to the 'internet of things' by a quantum link of pulsating microwave frequencies of 2.4gHz from cell towers and satellites directly to the graphene oxide tissues of all persons inoculated."

The claim includes a screenshot for the top portion of a U.S. patent # US 11,107,588 B2, which can be seen in its entirety here on a U.S. government patent database.

The patent, however, is listed as registered to inventors Gal Ehrlich and Maier Fenster, patent attorneys at Ehrlich and Fenster in Israel (here), not Pfizer.

Gal Ehrlich confirmed to Reuters via phone call that the patent had nothing to do with the vaccines themselves, calling the social media claims false.

The language in the patent's abstract (also seen on page one here ) describes a contact tracing process that uses "electronic devices." These would generate an ID number, and when in the proximity of another device, one or both electronic devices could transmit/receive information to/from the other electronic device. A score is then generated based on a plurality of such received IDs.

A similar process for cellphone-based COVID-19 contact tracing that has been used in the U.S. is visible in this June 2020 Wired article (here).

The patent text makes no mention of connecting individuals to 5G or tracking people with implanted graphene oxide or microchips via vaccines as claimed in the posts on social media.

By reading the patent, it is clear the electronic devices are thought out as external appliances a person could carry, like a cellphone or pager (i.e. they say, “electronic devices configured to be carried around by said subjects,” under example 19 in the “Summary of Invention”).

Reuters has previously debunked false claims about COVID-19 and 5G (here) and claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide (here).

CDC guidance on digital contact tracing for COVID-19 makes no mention of tracking people through vaccine implants (here), but mentions available GPS and Bluetooth technology.

Guidance on appropriate consent, advantages, and disadvantages of digital contact tracing is viewable on the CDC’s website (here) and by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (here).

VERDICT

False. Contrary to social media claims, the patent pictured in social media posts is not registered to Pfizer’s vaccine program and does not talk about individuals being controlled via implantable internet or 5G technology.

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

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