Truth or Fake

Covid-19 vaccine: does the ‘magnet challenge’ work?

Covid-19 vaccine: does the ‘magnet challenge’ work?
Covid-19 vaccine: does the ‘magnet challenge’ work? © Observers

A challenge where people stick magnets on their shoulders after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine is meant to prove that the vaccine contains a microchip. In the last episode of Truth or Fake, we analysed this viral challenge and explained why we should be wary of this type of fake experiment. 

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Social media platforms love "challenges," whether they encourage people to perform a particular dance move, achieve a particular sporting feat, or taste a specific food... The challenge which caught our attention falls in none of these categories. Called the "magnet challenge," this experiment is linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination campaign. But this "experiment" is primarily aimed at disinforming, since it allegedly proves that the vaccine contains a microchip. "We're all f*****," says this Facebook post

For this episode, Tristan Werkmeister contacted Julien Bobroff, a French physicist who specialises in magnetism and teaches at the University of Paris-Saclay. "A vaccine against Covid-19 that could contain chips and that would make magnets stick to the skin once injected is absolutely impossible from a scientific standpoint," he said. 

So how can a magnet stick to the skin? The British-American science writer Mick West, who specialises in debunking conspiracy theories, explained in a video that there are multiple ways to make it happen, either by having oily skin or by moisturising it. 

Another hypothesis identified by the fact-checking website "Fact and Furious" points out that people filming these videos could be wearing shoulder prosthesis. Because prostheses contain cobalt, which is a magnetic material, they can attract magnets.  

Have you spotted photos or videos related to the pandemic that you want us to verify? Contact us on the Twitter account @Observers.  

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