Truth or Fake

People vaccinated for Covid-19 don't emit Bluetooth signals – here's why

Videos showing Bluetooth addresses on phones are falsely purported be evidence that vaccinated people emit a signal after receiving a chip during the Covid-19 vaccine injection.
Videos showing Bluetooth addresses on phones are falsely purported be evidence that vaccinated people emit a signal after receiving a chip during the Covid-19 vaccine injection. © Observers

For months now, videos showing long lists of Bluetooth devices appearing on mobile phones have been posted all over social media – with the people in the videos claiming that the large number of unknown devices detected is proof that people who have been vaccinated can now emit a Bluetooth signal. In this week’s Truth or Fake, we spoke to a technology expert about why this outlandish claim just doesn’t stand up. 

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The claim has been shared online in different languages. In December last year, a French-speaking woman in Polynesia shared a video that she’d taken while in a graveyard. In the video, she points to her phone screen, which is detecting a long list of Bluetooth devices. She considers this proof that the people buried in the ground around her must have been vaccinated against Covid-19 before they died, and that’s why they’re still emitting Bluetooth signals.

In a video taken inside an aeroplane in December, a person shows the list of Bluetooth addresses that appear on his mobile phone when she activates Bluetooth. For him, the devices shown are not devices but people: all of the other people inside the aeroplane who’ve been vaccinated.

Other videos show people claiming that devices with names like "Pfizer" or "AstraZeneca" – the names of different types of Covid vaccines – are appearing on their phones. 

There’s a lot of disinformation out there about the vaccines, with many people saying that they contain dangerous components or even technology that means that people who’ve received the vaccine can be tracked. The FRANCE 24 Observers team has already debunked myths about the vaccine making you magnetic or that it contains a “toxic” substance called graphene.

Why it’s impossible to inject a vaccine containing microchips 

When we got in touch with Olivier Ezratty, a technology consultant, to ask him about the claim that people are being injected with Bluetooth-enabling technology, he was categorical when he said that it was impossible.

A Bluetooth chip needs a battery and an aerial to work and “the whole thing is at least several millimetres in diameter as well as a few centimetres long – so it wouldn’t fit at all into the needle of a syringe, which, for the Covid vaccine, is only about 0.5-0.8mm wide”.  

The misunderstanding at the heart of the rumour 

It is possible, however, to inject microchips into the human body – but for that, you’d need a syringe much bigger than the ones used for vaccinations.  

There’s a lot of misinformation about one particular kind of microchip: the RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification. RFID chips can exchange data through radio frequencies, and can be inserted under the skin, without the need for a battery. 

In any case, this particular type of microchip is still larger than a needle is, and so wouldn’t be able to be inserted during a vaccination. 

Screen capture from a news report by the South China Morning Post on December 17, 2021, showing a microchip developed by the Swedish start-up Epicentre.
Screen capture from a news report by the South China Morning Post on December 17, 2021, showing a microchip developed by the Swedish start-up Epicentre. © South China Morning Post