A video circulating on social media claims to show how a “nanobot” - allegedly contained in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines - will “attack a sperm” and alter the DNA of a fertilized egg. The claims presented in this video are false: the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain tiny computers or robots and it will not genetically modify recipients or their offspring.
A Facebook post with the video shared over 1,065 times here reads: “Better not get that covid test or Vaccine. I am warning you people. These evil psychopaths have ￼been trying to hurt and depopulate us for a while now.”
Another iteration can be seen here .
The clip includes a female voiceover that starts with the warning: “This is what they are hiding from your family. This is what they don’t want you to know.”
She goes on to claim that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have “millions and millions” of “little robots” which she refers to as “nanobytes,” most likely in reference to nanobots ( here ) .
“Now what you are looking at is a nanobyte attacking a sperm. And here’s the sperm penetrating the egg,” the voiceover says. “Now you got a chip that’s been put into that baby with a DNA written on it to destroy that baby’s DNA”.
THE COVID-19 VACCINE DOES NOT HAVE “NANOBOTS”
As previously explained by Reuters here , the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contains lipid “nanoparticles,” small particles that are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size, but not nanobots or any kind of chip or computer. The Moderna vaccine contains lipid nanoparticles ( here ) but not nanobots.
Reuters has also tackled repeated false claims about the vaccine implanting a microchip in the recipient’s body ( here , here )
THE COVID-19 VACCINE WILL NOT GENETICALLY MODIFY YOU OR YOUR OFFSPRING
Two of the three authorized and recommended vaccines in the United States to prevent the new coronavirus ( here ), the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, rely on new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA).
As explained by the U.S. Centers of Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) here , instead of introducing a weakened or inactivated virus into our bodies, mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein, or a piece of protein, to trigger an immune response.
Dr. Paul McCray, a professor of pediatrics, microbiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa ( here ), previously told Reuters via email how a COVID-19 vaccine using a DNA or RNA vector would work.
As is the case with a vaccine that uses an inactivated (dead) virus, “the only modification to the host is to stimulate them to make antibodies and T cells that will prevent infection with the virus or kill any infected cells to prevent or reduce disease severity,” McCray said.
“This is what happens if you get a virus infection naturally, but the vaccine takes the risk of serious disease out of the equation.”
Reuters previously debunked false claims on social media that a COVID-19 vaccine involving the injection of the virus’ genetic code would genetically modify the recipient or their offspring here and here .
The footage misleadingly featured in this claim comes from a laboratory demonstration of the “spermbot,” an artificially “motorized” sperm that could be a potential method of assisted reproduction. It can be seen here in a 2016 video by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
A 2016 paper published in the ACS journal Nano Letters ( here ), says the “spermbot” uses microhelices controlled by a magnetic field to serve as “motors” for transporting sperm cells with motion deficiencies.
At the time researchers said more studies needed to be done to achieve a successful fertilization with the artificial motorized sperms and before it could be tested in the human body ( here , here ) .
False. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain little computers or robots. It will not genetically modify recipients or their offspring, according to experts. This clip features a laboratory demonstration of a sperm artificially motorized with microhelices controlled with a magnetic field. It is in no way related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.