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Lori George, an Ascension Wisconsin ICU nurse, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Stephanie Fidlin at Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital Dec. 16, 2020. (Mike DeSisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Lori George, an Ascension Wisconsin ICU nurse, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Stephanie Fidlin at Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital Dec. 16, 2020. (Mike DeSisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Lori George, an Ascension Wisconsin ICU nurse, receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Stephanie Fidlin at Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital Dec. 16, 2020. (Mike DeSisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher January 4, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines don’t use experimental technology, don’t track humans

If Your Time is short

  • The vaccines use new technology, but it has been tested on humans.
     
  • ​The vaccines don’t have chips that can be used for tracking people.

An image shared on Facebook claims COVID-19 vaccines use "new experimental technology never before used on humans" and that some "contain nanochips which can electronically track recipients." 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The image was shared by a number of accounts, including being highlighted by Detox, AntiVax and Woo Insanity, a Facebook account with more than 100,000 followers that describes itself on its page as being "satire/parody — just for fun and "dedicated to exposing pseudoscience hucksters and the woonatics that follow them, one laugh at a time." 

The first two coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna were developed in record time and use new technology, called messenger RNA, to combat the disease. But that does not mean that safety protocols were bypassed or that researchers didn’t do enough testing. For example, the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech has been studied in clinical trials involving about 44,000 people, with half receiving the vaccine, and the other half receiving a placebo.

The vaccines do not include microchips for tracking patients. 

Featured Fact-check

We rated that claim False when we saw it being made in a video circulating on social media that said that some COVID-19 vaccines could include microchips to let government officials track patients. A medical technology company has been producing prefilled syringes for coronavirus vaccines. The syringes can include an optional chip on the label — not inside the injected dose itself — that would show if a particular dose is expired or counterfeit. The chips would not be injected with the vaccine, nor would they gather information on patients or allow their locations to be tracked.

Our ruling

An image shared on Facebook claimed COVID-19 vaccines have "experimental technology never before used on humans" and that some "contain nanochips which can electronically track recipients." 

The technology is new, but it was tested on humans. The vaccines don’t contain chips for tracking.

We rate the image False.

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COVID-19 vaccines don’t use experimental technology, don’t track humans

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