Fact Check-Johns Hopkins University did not say that you can be vaccinated with a PCR test

The false claim that people are being vaccinated through PCR COVID-19 tests has been shared across social media.

The allegation stems from an article (here) , titled: “Johns Hopkins University confirms: You can be vaccinated with a PCR test, even without knowing”. This headline has since been used as a screenshot shared on social media (here).

The article alleges that the PCR testing campaign could be a World Health Organization (WHO) vaccination programme “in disguise” due to a new technology developed at the university “that is supposed to make it possible to carry out covert vaccinations through a PCR test”.

It references an article (here) from Johns Hopkins, which reads: “Inspired by a parasitic worm that digs its sharp teeth into the intestines of its host, Johns Hopkins researchers have developed tiny, star-shaped micro-devices that attach to the intestinal mucosa and can deliver drugs into the body.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins said the article had been “inaccurately used for disinformation” over the past few months.

The spokesperson said the article describes small devices known as “theragrippers” which are deployed to the intestines via an endoscope. “When these dust-sized devices reach a certain temperature, they latch onto tissue and release the medicine that has been loaded onto them. This nanotechnology has shown promise in a laboratory setting. However, it is still in its infancy and has not been approved for use in humans.”

Theragrippers have neither been tested nor used for vaccine delivery, the spokesperson added.


False. John Hopkins University did not say people are being vaccinated using PCR tests. An article by the school about “theragrippers” has been misinterpreted. The technology has not been approved for use in humans nor tested or used for vaccine delivery.

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