On social networks, videos showing people holding their phone or a magnet on their arm are multiplying. They spread the rumor that vaccines against Covid-19 would make you “magnetic”. Decryption of false information.
An anti-Covid vaccine that would transform your shoulder into a magnet capable of supporting objects such as a fork, a magnet or your phone, this is the new rumor circulating on social networks in recent days.
Worse, posting yourself on video with your smartphone glued to your arm after supposedly receiving a dose of the coronavirus vaccine has even become a challenge on social networks like TikTok, with the keyword MagnetChallenge.
But what do we really know about these videos? Is it really possible that an injection of vaccine makes you “magnetic”? Response elements.
Videos that have gone viral
The videos in question quickly went viral. On each of them, men and women, of all ages, who try to make magnets and phones stand on their arms. These remain stuck to the skin …
For these Internet users, there is no doubt that the anti-Covid vaccine injected into them is the cause. Quickly, the rumor spread, and gained momentum. But it would still be necessary to prove that the vaccine would inject a chemical element capable of causing such a reaction on contact with objects. And this is where it gets complicated.
In vaccines: no magnetic component
None of the components of the vaccines authorized in France, those of Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, would allow such an effect.
Ditto in the United States, where the collective of scientists Health Feedback, which analyzes and disentangles the truth from the false information around science, affirmed that“None of the Covid-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) contain metals or any other magnetic ingredient.”
In a BBC fact-check video , British Broadcasting Corporation journalist Jack Goodman points out that “All vaccines contain non-toxic traces of aluminum, but aluminum is not even magnetic. “
Information confirmed by Vincent Maréchal, professor of virology at the University of the Sorbonne, in Paris, questioned by our colleagues from Parisian.
“If this fake news is attractive, it is because it is based on a confusion that holds a tiny part of the truth”, he explains.
Indeed, 30 of the 56 vaccines authorized in France (not only against Covid-19 therefore), use aluminum salts as an adjuvant to boost the immune response.
And if aluminum is indeed a metal, it is not magnetic …
Moreover, even if they contained an atom of iron, cobalt or nickel, “The quantity injected would be infinitesimal”, in other words not sufficient to constitute a magnet, indicated to the newspaper 20 minutes Hélène Fischer, teacher-researcher at the Jean-Lamour Institute, CNRS research unit, and at the University of Lorraine.
“We all have iron ions in our bodies and we are not magnetic”, she also recalled.
And if the most dubious are still not convinced, they can always consult the lists of vaccine ingredients from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, made public by the European Medicines Agency.
Hang a magnet by the syringe: impossible
The specialists are unanimous on the subject, your arm cannot become magnetic with the injection. Some may also have thought that a magnet could have simply been injected along with the product, in the same way that some anti-vaccine campaigners have spread the false rumor that a 5G chip could be slipped into the body, along with the vaccine. .
But again, many scientists call for logical reasoning. Eric Palm, physicist and director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at the University of Florida, United States, also spoke to the BBC.
He recalls that the needles used to vaccinate measure “Less than a millimeter in diameter”. If a person injected a particle “Extremely magnetic”, she would be “So small that it would not allow a magnet to get stuck on the skin”.
An explanation shared by Julien Bobroff, physicist and professor at the University of Paris-Saclay, meanwhile questioned by the television channel France 24 : “It couldn’t go through the syringe.”
“Stop believing in the things you see on Tik Tok, Facebook or YouTube”
For physicist Eric Palm, several elements can explain that objects can fit on the arm: oily skin, post-vaccine dressing residue, or other substances that people filming themselves could have applied.
Emily, a netizen who made the buzz on TikTok with a video in which she managed to stick a magnet where she received her vaccine, was also interviewed by the BBC.
Faced with the extent of the virality of her video, she had then withdrawn it, before explaining that it was a joke. “Stop believing in the things you see on Tik Tok, Facebook or YouTube”, she called to the British media.