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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 21, 2021

No, this isn’t a video of a COVID-19 vaccine

If Your Time is short

  • A clip of a 2015 science experiment involving metal ball bearings and electricity is being described as showing a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s wrong.

A video of small balls connecting and growing on their own is being described in a social media video as the COVID-19 vaccine once it hits your bloodstream. 

That’s wrong. The video is actually from 2015 and shows self-organizing wires. (More on that in a minute.)

In a clip of the video posted on Instagram on Oct. 16, a woman says it shows "the COVID vaccine in a lab under a microscope and its reaction when it hits the blood." 

And in case you didn’t catch that false claim, she repeats it: "This is the COVID-19 vaccine when it hits your blood."

"Here it is," she says again, "this is what it does when it gets the warmth of your blood." 

This 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.)

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So here it is, the truth: 

On Feb. 9, 2015, the Stanford Complexity Group, an initiative to bring complexity science, or the study of complex systems, to a wider audience, posted a video to YouTube titled "Self-Assembling Wires." The video was described as "an exploration of a fascinating self-organizing system." 

The narrator in this version of the video is different than the narrator in the social media post.

This narrator explains that we’re about to see an experiment devised by a physics professor at the University of Illinois using metal ball bearings to study self-assembling wires. The metal ball bearings are put in a petri dish filled with castor oil. The petri dish has a metal ring on the edge with a negative charge. When a wire with a positive charge that’s connected to a power source is dangled over the petri dish, electrons are "sprayed down" on the ball bearings. When voltage is applied, the balls start forming chains. 


No COVID-19 vaccines contain metals. This is the latest in a number of fabricated claims that suggest microscopic views show the vaccines contain problematic substances. The actual ingredients of vaccines are publicly available online thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read all about them here.

We rate this post Pants on Fire! 


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No, this isn’t a video of a COVID-19 vaccine

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