A macro-sized myth about the Covid-19 vaccine

By Stuff reporter

The Whole Truth: Covid-19 Vaccination | Report from Stuff

There are 10 ingredients in the Covid-19 vaccine. A microchip isn't one of them.

We’re going to be completely clear about this one upfront: there is no microchip in the Covid-19 vaccine.

Despite all the conspiracy theories swirling around the internet, there is simply no evidence or data to support this claim.

The Whole Truth is tackling this rumour only because it has now persisted for several months, prompting even the Ministry of Health to address it directly, along with its Australian counterpart.

Manufacturers are required by law to list down all ingredients in a vaccine.

For the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine, which MedSafe has approved for use in New Zealand, there are 10 ingredients. A microchip isn’t one of them.

Besides the active ingredient - messenger mRNA - the Pfizer vaccine includes four fats: cholesterol and three others with very long names (which you can read here, on page 9).

It also contains sucrose (or sugar), and four salts: potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride and dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate.

None of these ingredients is, or contains, a microchip.

Before use, the vaccine vial is removed from storage at -70 degrees Celsius, thawed out and diluted with water and saline - this allows for five to six doses of vaccine per vial. There is no way microchips could survive this process and be distributed evenly through each vaccine dose. 

The vaccine is then injected using a 21-gauge or smaller needle. Even the 21-gauge needle’s inner diameter of 0.51 millimetres would be much too small for even the smallest microchip capable of remotely transmitting.

The vaccinator also visually inspects the vaccine, both before and after dilution, to make sure there are no particles in it.

The actual production of the Pfizer vaccine is also subject to strict manufacturing processes. 

Various regulators have also put checks and balances in place, poring over all aspects of how the Covid-19 vaccines are produced, to ensure their safety.

This included regulatory experts convened by the World Health Organisation who reviewed the data of the Pfizer vaccine’s safety, efficacy and quality as part of a risk versus benefit analysis. 

In addition, vaccine developers have partnered with academic institutions, scientists, and external review boards filled with people from the community with no vested interest, to review data and ensure nothing dangerous is in the vaccines.

None of these groups has picked up evidence of microchips or any foreign bodies in the vaccine.

Before the vaccine was authorised for use, researchers and manufacturers undertook large-scale, quality research into safety and effectiveness, as happens for any vaccine.

There have been layers of approval process, scrutiny and safeguard, including by New Zealand's MedSafe, to ensure it is safe to use.

Even now the vaccine is being administered, the checks and balances continue. Every common or uncommon reaction is reported and investigated.

The speedy development of the Covid-19 vaccines is unprecedented, but it doesn’t mean shortcuts were taken. It certainly doesn’t mean there’s a microchip in there.

The original version of this post referred to the 21-gauge needle used to inject the Covid-19 vaccine as having an inner diameter of 0.21mm. This was published in error: the needle gauge is correct but the inner diameter is 0.51mm. Both measurements are much smaller than any microchip with a remote transmitting function.

Reporting disclosure statement: Epidemiologist Michael Baker from the University of Otago provided expert advice for this post. It was also reviewed by The Whole Truth: Covid-19 Vaccination expert panel members Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga (GP and chair of the Pacific GP Network)  and Dr Rawiri Jansen (GP and clinical director for a primary healthcare organisation).