Claim: Social media posts suggest magnets are sticking to the jab area on peoples arms because there are magnetic elements in the Covid-19 vaccines.
Senior medical officials have dispelled these assertions.
Videos and photos circulating on various social media platforms are suggesting that magnets and metals have been found to stick to the arm, particularly at the area the Covid-19 jab is administered, after taking a dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Social media users are using the hashtag, #MagnetChallenge as tags on these posts.
In a video, the man, appearing in a police uniform, made an exhibition to back the claims.
For there to be a magnetic attraction, there must be magnetic elements in the area where there is the attraction.
Since these persons linked the supposed magnetic attraction to the Covid-19 jab, we checked the composition of some of the vaccines, including Sputnik V and Astrazeneca, which are being administered in Ghana, to ascertain if they have magnetic properties.
Producers of the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine have listed MRNA, lipids, potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose as its ingredients.
The ingredients in this vaccine include Tris-(hydroxymethyl)-aminomethane, Sodium chloride, Sucrose, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Disodium EDTA dihydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, and Water.
The Astrazeneca Vaccine is made from a modified adenovirus which causes the common cold in chimpanzees. This virus has been modified so that it cannot cause an infection. It is used to deliver the genetic code for the coronavirus spike protein. The vaccine also contains inactive ingredients such as polysorbate 80, an emulsifier, and a very small amount of alcohol (0.002mg per dose). The vaccine also contains traces of magnesium (3 to 20 parts per million).
Investigation in the composition of these elements show that they do not contain metals that could, in any way, be magnetic.
Furthermore, Eric C. Palmer of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, says that no significant quantity of magnet to cause a magnetic effect can be injected into the arm considering the size of the needle used in the vaccination.
“The vaccine needles are extremely small, a fraction of a millimetre in size. So even if you inject an extremely magnetic particle, it would be so small in size that there wouldn’t be enough force on it to actually keep a magnet stuck to your skin,” he told the BBC in an interview.
Ghana’s Presidential advisor on health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, says that these claims are being peddled by persons of the anti-vaccine movement and has urged the public to ignore such claims.
He stressed that the vaccines that are being administered are safe for the public.
“There is no iota of truth in what they are saying. It is a complete hoax. There is nothing that you can have a metal attached to your hand unless you have implanted a magnet inside there. The bone, muscle, blood vessels, skin and subskin do not have magnetic properties so it beats my imagination,” he told Dubawa Ghana.
The Director of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Gordon A. Awandare has described these claims as a hoax.
He says that people making such assertions are doing so with the motive of discouraging others from taking the jab.
“These are pranks that people are playing. There is nothing like that. I have taken the vaccine and there is nothing wrong. People should ignore these videos and shouldn’t even give them the attention they are getting. This is a total hoax, there is nothing like that. These are people who are anti-vaccine people and they just do propaganda to discourage people from taking the vaccine so you should not even tolerate this kind of mischief,” he said in an interview with Dubawa Ghana.
It is not true that the coronavirus jab is causing magnetic effects in the arm. It has not been proven scientifically that a medical condition can cause such an effect, unless there is a magnetic implantation in that part of the body.
This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking.