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Sara Swann
By Sara Swann October 6, 2023

No, a Bill Gates-funded COVID-19 vaccine won’t be released into the air

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  • An mRNA COVID-19 "air vaccine" has not been approved for use.

  • Yale University researchers developed a COVID-19 vaccine that could be administered in the nose, without a needle, but it was only tested on mice. The lead researcher said no humans were involved in the study.

  • Neither philanthropist Bill Gates nor the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding to the Yale research team.

Did Bill Gates fund a COVID-19 vaccine that will be released into the air without the public’s consent? Don’t hold your breath. This is misinformation.

A vast majority of Americans have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. But some social media users are claiming that soon people won’t have a choice about whether to get vaccinated.

An Oct. 4 Instagram post shared a screenshot of an article with the headline, "Bill Gates mRNA ‘air vaccine’ approved for use against non-consenting humans."

The article included a photo of two people wearing medical coveralls and masks in a helicopter marked with the letters WFP, which stands for the World Food Programme, an international organization that fights hunger.

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

(Screengrab from Instagram)

A search for this headline led to an Oct. 3 article published by The People’s Voice, a site that regularly shares misinformation. The article cited research conducted by a Yale University team y and claimed this "air vaccine will ‘indiscriminately’ force jab the entire planet with mRNA, delivering the toxic chemicals straight into a person’s lungs."

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It said the "air vaccine" has been approved by multiple governments, but did not specify which ones.

In August, Yale researchers published results from a study they conducted on whether a messenger RNA, or mRNA, COVID-19 vaccine could be administered without a needle. The researchers found that a vaccine delivered intranasally into animals’ lungs could effectively protect against COVID-19.

This inhalable vaccine, made with nanoparticles carrying the COVID-19 vaccine, was tested on mice, not humans, said Mark Saltzman, a Yale biomedical and chemical engineering professor who led the study.

"Contrary to reports on social media, this airborne technique would not work in humans," Saltzman said. "Humans must receive a controlled dose that is administered directly into the nose."

Additionally, this type of vaccine would need approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration before it would be made available to the public.

Saltzman said his research team did not receive funding from Microsoft Corp. co-founder and philanthropost Gates — who is often the subject of baseless conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 vaccine — or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Instagram post and article did not provide any evidence to support this claim.

The Yale University study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

We rate the claim that a "Bill Gates mRNA air vaccine" has been approved for use "against non-consenting humans" False.

Our Sources

Instagram post, Oct. 6, 2023

Email exchange with Mark Saltzman, biomedical and chemical engineering professor at Yale University, Oct. 6, 2023

The People’s Voice, "Bill Gates mRNA ‘air vaccine’ approved for use against non-consenting humans," Oct. 3, 2023

Yale University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science, "An mRNA COVID vaccine (and potentially more) with nanoparticles, no shot needed," Aug. 16, 2023

Science Translational Medicine, "Polymer nanoparticles deliver mRNA to the lung for mucosal vaccination," Aug. 16, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "COVID-19 Vaccinations in the U.S.," May 11, 2023 

Lead Stories, "Fact check: Bill Gates' 'air vaccine' was NOT 'approved for use against non-consenting humans'," Oct. 5, 2023

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More by Sara Swann

No, a Bill Gates-funded COVID-19 vaccine won’t be released into the air

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