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As required by law, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts at 2:20 p.m. EST Oct. 4.
Conspiracy theories have claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide, but the two most widely used vaccines in the U.S., Pfizer and Moderna, do not have graphene oxide as an ingredient.
There’s no mechanism by which a high-frequency signal could activate the COVID-19 vaccines’ ingredients, which are short-lived in people, an expert said.
Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.
An Instagram post warns that a planned Oct. 4 test of the Emergency Alert System is really a ploy to activate materials that had been injected into billions of people.
It’s being "disguised as a test," said a man in a Sept. 18 Instagram video, but will be used to "send a specific high-frequency signal through devices like smartphones, radios and TVs with the intention of activating graphene oxide and other nanoparticles that have been inserted into billions of human beings around the world through obvious mediums."
"Everyone will be affected, regardless of your status," said the man, who urged people to turn off their devices for a two-hour time window that day to protect themselves.
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.)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, said in August that it will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts at 2:20 p.m. EST Oct. 4.
Though he does not specifically mention COVID-19 vaccines, the man in the video appears to be referring to a conspiracy theory that the vaccines contain graphene oxide.
A high-frequency signal couldn’t activate the vaccine’s actual ingredients, which an expert told us are short-lived in humans.
This will be the seventh nationwide emergency alert test and the second national wireless emergency alert test. The most recent national test was in 2021.
The emergency alert tests will interrupt TV and radio programs with a minute-long message saying that it's "only a test." Text messagelike wireless emergency alerts, accompanied by a unique ringtone and vibration, will be sent to cellphones.
Conspiracy theories have claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide — a material used in biotechnology and other fields — and nanoparticles that can be used to track vaccine recipients.
The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, the two most widely used vaccines in the U.S., do not have graphene oxide as an ingredient, PolitiFact has reported before. Nor do the Novavax and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines contain lipid nanoparticles. Multiple false claims have alleged nanoparticles are like microchips and used to track vaccinated people with 5G networks. The term "nano" refers only to size; it has nothing to do with 5G technology or tracking.
Pfizer describes the lipid nanoparticles in its vaccines as "tiny protective bubbles of fat" that deliver the fragile RNA molecules to vaccine recipients’ cells.
Rebecca DuBois, a University of California, Santa Cruz biomolecular engineering professor, said the scenario described in the Instagram video is impossible, first because the COVID-19 vaccines don't contain graphene oxide, and second because the vaccine ingredients don't remain in a person's body for very long.
"There is no mechanism by which a high radio frequency signal could activate something from the COVID vaccine, or any other vaccine for that matter," DuBois said. "MRNA and other ingredients in COVID vaccines are short-lived, on the order of a few days. This is just long enough to stimulate a person's immune system, which then provides long-lived protection from COVID."
An Instagram video claims a test of the nation’s emergency broadcast systems will send a high-frequency signal that will activate graphene oxide in people.
It appears to be a reference to a conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines contain graphene oxide; they do not. Also, there is no mechanism by which a high-frequency signal could activate the vaccine's ingredients.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Rebecca DuBois, biomolecular engineering professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, email interview, Sept. 20, 2023
FEMA, FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test for Oct. 4, 2023, Aug. 3, 2023
FEMA, Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) 2023 National Test FAQs, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
U.S. Congress, S.1180 - Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
National Weather Service, Wireless Emergency Alerts - What are they and how do they work?, accessed Sept. 20, 2023
Pfizer, COMIRNATY U.S. Physician Prescribing Information , accessed Sept. 19, 2023
Pfizer, Inside the Delivery Vehicles Critical to the Success of mRNA, June 2022
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Overview of COVID-19 Vaccines, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
University of Nebraska Medicine, You asked, we answered: Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain tromethamine, luciferase or graphene oxide?, Dec. 8, 2021
MilliporeSigma, Applications of Graphene Oxide and Reduced Graphene Oxide, accessed Sept. 19, 2023
PolitiFact, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain graphene, are not experimental and have published ingredients, Jan. 24, 2022
PolitiFact, Seven spooky things that people say are in the COVID-19 vaccines but definitely aren’t, Oct. 28, 2021
PolitiFact, No, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain nanoparticles that will allow you to be tracked via 5G networks, March 12, 2021
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