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No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t make people magnetic

Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine is causing people to become magnetic are still circulating, but they are false.

Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine was causing people to become magnetic have circulated for months. A recent event in Ohio is now triggering more questions about that topic.

On June 8, the Ohio Legislature held a House Health Committee hearing to discuss the “Enact Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act,” or House Bill 248, which would prohibit mandatory vaccinations, vaccination status disclosures, and certain other actions regarding vaccinations in the state. During the hearing, an osteopathic physician named Dr. Sherri Tenpenny claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines make people “magnetic.” In the same hearing, a nurse tried to show an example of the magnetic theory by attempting to stick a key to her body, but it did not work. 

THE QUESTION

Can the COVID-19 vaccine make people magnetic?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t make people magnetic. The vaccine does not contain any metals that could produce a magnetic field. 

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccines cannot cause people to become magnetic. On its website, the agency says, “Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.” 

Going further into detail, the CDC explains: 

“COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys, as well as any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors. In addition, the typical dose for a COVID-19 vaccine is less than a milliliter, which is not enough to allow magnets to be attracted to your vaccination site even if the vaccine was filled with a magnetic metal.” 

Dan Dahlberg, a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota, told VERIFY that it’s not possible for blood to become magnetic unless they were to somehow change the chemistry in their blood, which could potentially be fatal.

“The thing that people usually think about is blood because they know that blood has iron in it — but the iron in the blood is not a strong magnet. It does have a magnetic response as everything does, but like most things, its magnetic response is very, very weak,” said Dahlberg. “If you were to try to change that, to make the blood magnetic, you change the chemistry, and that would almost certainly affect the oxygen flow, so you would probably die if you tried to do too much with it.”

In reference to Dr. Tenpenny’s claim that people can somehow become magnetic after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, Dahlberg says he knows of no way this could happen. He also says that the videos showing people with forks, spoons and keys stuck to their body parts is not “due to a magnetic interaction.”

“I would say it's the same as somebody who does a card trick. Some things like this you can do with practice using friction and body oil,” said Dahlberg.  “In addition, they could add something to help. For instance, you can put on spray sticky stuff, right? They could put it on their skin and then objects could stick to them.  And, of course, they could use CGI.”

On its website, the CDC provides detailed information on the ingredients contained in the COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States. 

SOURCE OF MISINFORMATION

In May, the Center for Countering Digital Hate released a report called “The Disinformation Dozen,” which analyzed over 812,000 posts extracted from Facebook and Twitter between February 1, 2021, and March 16, 2021. The report, which includes information about Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, states that “12 anti-vaxxers are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms.”

According to the report, Dr. Tenpenny, “spreads anti-vaccine sentiment and false claims about the safety and efficacy of masks via her social media channels.” So far, Dr. Tenpenny’s Facebook page has been removed, but she is still active on Twitter and Instagram. 

More from VERIFY: No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain a magnetic microchip

VERIFY
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