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Licensed vocational nurse LeShay Brown, middle, inoculates Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services, right, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP) Licensed vocational nurse LeShay Brown, middle, inoculates Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services, right, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP)

Licensed vocational nurse LeShay Brown, middle, inoculates Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary, California Health and Human Services, right, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP)

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek March 12, 2021

No, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain nanoparticles that will allow you to be tracked via 5G networks

If Your Time is short

• There is no evidence that the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain technology similar to microchips implanted in pets.

• Lipid nanoparticles are among some of the ingredients used in COVID-19 vaccines.

• The term “nanoparticle” refers only to size; it has nothing to do with 5G network technology.

 

Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines continues to run rampant online, even as President Joe Biden addressed the nation on March 11 and instructed states to make all adults eligible for the vaccines by May 1. 

In one nearly nine-minute Facebook video, which appeared to have originally been recorded in French before being dubbed over with an English translation, the speaker makes some outrageous claims. 

"Here is the truth about the vaccine that the new world order wants to impose on us all," the narrator says, before going on to claim that the COVID-19 vaccines will contain "nanoparticles." 

The English-language narrator describes nanoparticles as "a bit like a microchip implanted under your cat or dog’s skin. The difference is you’re going to find thousands, millions of them in just one vaccine dose."

The claims about the vaccine don’t stop there, though. The narrator continues: "The vaccine and the nanoparticles are mixed in the syringe. The vaccine and the nanoparticles are then injected simultaneously into your body. From that moment on, your mobile phone will locate you immediately. And by the magic of 5G network, your location is no longer a secret to the authorities."

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.)

There is no evidence the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain nanoparticles similar to microchips implanted in pets that would allow recipients to be tracked via the 5G network. 

Versions of the claim have been checked by other fact-checking organizations, and French publications have debunked the original video. 

The video posits the idea that "nanoparticles" are actually small robots or computers — a notion we saw emerge from another viral video about vaccines that was later debunked.

Featured Fact-check

The term "nanoparticles" refers to "materials with dimensions in the nanoscale," according to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s website. It refers to the size of a particle, and nothing else.

The ingredients of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S. have been released publicly (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson).

Lipid nanoparticles are included on the list of ingredients in the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. 

Lipids are molecules such as fats or oils that aren’t soluble in water. In the vaccines, lipid nanoparticles encase, protect and transport the mRNA — essentially acting as "tiny ‘delivery vehicles,’" according to one biotechnology company that helped develop them. 

Nanoparticles are not microchip technology, nor do they have any connection to 5G networks.

Furthermore, there is no evidence the vaccines contain any sort of technology that would allow someone who has been vaccinated to be "located" using 5G. Conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and 5G networks aren’t new, and several have been fact-checked and debunked since the start of the pandemic.

Our rating

A viral video claims that "nanoparticles" in the COVID-19 vaccines are similar to pet microchips, and that once you’re injected, "by the magic of 5G network, your location is no longer a secret to the authorities."

The term "nanoparticles" refers to the small size of a material. The nanoparticles used in the COVID-19 vaccines are lipids. They have nothing to do with microchip technology or 5G networks.

There is no evidence the vaccines contain any material that would allow someone who has been vaccinated to be "located" using 5G.  

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

 

Our Sources

Facebook post, March 9, 2021

AFP Factuel, "‘Institut Pasteur & Microsoft ont les brevets du Covid-19’: attention à cette vidéo contenant de multiples fausses informations," Aug. 21, 2020 

LCI, "5G, nanoparticules, "brevets" du Covid-19… Une vidéo virale multiplie les fake news," Aug. 25, 2020

Reuters, "Fact check: Lipid nanoparticles in a COVID-19 vaccine are there to transport RNA molecules," Dec. 5, 2020

New York Times, "No, there are no microchips in coronavirus vaccines," Dec. 17, 2020

Google Patents, "Cryptocurrency system using body activity data," accessed March 11, 2021

Microsoft Licensing Technology Patent Application, accessed March 11, 2021

The White House, "Fact Sheet: President Biden to Announce All Americans to be Eligible for Vaccinations by May 1, Puts the Nation on a Path to Get Closer to Normal by July 4th," March 11, 2021

Washington Post, "Biden directs states to make all adults eligible for vaccine by May 1," March 11, 2021

PolitiFact, "No, the new coronavirus vaccines are not more dangerous than COVID-19," Dec. 18, 2020

PolitiFact, "Fact-checking a conspiracy theory about 5G and the coronavirus," April 3, 2020

USA Today, "Fact check: 5G technology is not linked to coronavirus," April 23, 2020

BBC, "Coronavirus: 5G and microchip conspiracies around the world," June 27, 2020

NPR, "Anatomy Of A COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory," July 10, 2020

MIT Technology Review, "What are the ingredients of Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine?" Dec. 9, 2020

National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Nanoparticles in modern medicine: State of the art and future challenges," June 2007

Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet for recipients and caregivers, accessed March 11, 2021

Food and Drug Administration, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet for recipients and caregivers, accessed March 11, 2021

Janssen, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet for recipients and caregivers, accessed March 11, 2021

Acuitas Therapeutics, "The BioNTech and Pfizer Positive COVID-19 Phase 3 Vaccine Data Comes with an Important Canadian Connection," Nov. 9, 2020

 

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No, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain nanoparticles that will allow you to be tracked via 5G networks

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