Fact check: COVID-19 vaccine labels would not microchip or track individuals, but serve logistical purpose

A video shared over 8,300 times on Facebook makes false claims about the optional microchip that could be contained within the syringes label of the eventual COVID-19 vaccine. The video alleges that the microchip “would give officials information on who has and has not been vaccinated” and “track the location of the patient”. These claims are false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

While the video does not specify where this microchip would be, users commenting it appear to be interpreting the technology is an injectable. Some comments on the video include: “Was only a matter of time before they admitted to a microchip to track people...” and “You’re not putting any chip in my body!” This is also false.

This edit appears to have been created by Elizabeth Johnston (see watermark in left top corner). The video was posted on her Facebook and Instagram pages on Dec. 9 here and here (archived versions , )

The video features segments of a CBN interview with Jay Walker, executive chairman of pre-filled syringe maker Apiject Systems of America ( ), after the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a $138 million contract with ApiJect to expand the U.S. production capability of medical-grade injection devices for the eventual COVID-19 vaccine ( ).

The video inaccurately refers to Walker as the CEO of the company, but that role is held by Franco Negron ( ).

In the CBN interview ( ) Walker is asked about how the “optional RFID chip” would work, in reference to the Radio Frequency Identification chip that could be part of the syringe’s label, not the injectable substance itself (as explained in detail here on page 13).

Reuters previously addressed this interview in a similar fact check that misleadingly juxtaposed the interview with footage of Bill and Melinda Gates and Jack Ma’s commentary that was unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine here .

Steve Hofman, a spokesman for Apiject previously confirmed to Reuters via phone that this “optional” microchip will in no way be injected into the individual who receives the vaccine.

The microchip, he explained, is designed for two purposes: “to allow the healthcare provider to confirm that the actual injectable and the vaccine in it has not expired and that it is not counterfeit”. It would also confirm that “that particular injection has been used”. The health provider, Hofman added, would use a cellphone app to capture and revise this information. This does not involve divulging patients’ personal information.

The RFID chips they mention are commonplace and often found in item inventory tracking and supply chains (more here ).  


It is true that the company plans to enable the mass production and delivery of pre-filled syringes for the eventual COVID-19 vaccine ( ). In the interview, Walker says that Apiject would be able to manufacture “at least a hundred million doses ready to inject” ( ). 

However, the claim that these vaccines would include a microchip is misleading. As explained by Walker   this technology is “purely optional, however, and the U.S. government hasn't even decided if they're going to use it”. Recently contacted by Reuters, Hofman confirmed that the technology hasn’t been requested so far.


The video alleges that the chip “would give officials information on who has and has not been vaccinated”. This is false. As this chip does not gather any personal data, it would not directly provide information on who has received the inoculation, but rather let the healthcare provider know when a dosage expires or if it is counterfeit.

It also claims that “the chip tracks the location of the patient, so that officials can know where the vaccinated patients are and accordingly plan to increase vaccinations in locations with outbreaks.”

Hofman confirmed to Reuters that the microchip “could track where a vaccination occurred, but not who was vaccinated.”

As explained here ( , on page 13), by gathering real-time information on when and where each injection is taking place, and therefore knowing which locations are lacking coverage, this technology would “enable officials to better manage their vaccination campaigns.”

Reuters has debunked other false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine here , here , here , here


Partly false. This optional microchip for the label of the COVID-19 vaccine, which hasn’t yet been requested by U.S. officials, would not gather personal information of the individual that receives the inoculation nor track their location. It will share when and where injections are taking place, if the dosage has expired or if it is counterfeit.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here  .