People receive Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Seoul on April 1, 2021. ( POOL / Chung Sung-Jun)

Posts push unproven and dangerous post-vaccination 'treatments'

Copyright AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

Social media posts circulating in South Korea suggest various "treatments" for cleansing the body after a Covid-19 vaccination. The posts claim the methods will "get rid of parasites and other nasty things". However, health experts warned the purported treatments could actually be harmful. Experts have previously told AFP that Covid-19 vaccines do not contain live parasites.

The claim was shared here on Facebook on December 19, 2021.

The Korean-language post's caption partly reads: "You can get rid of parasites and other nasty things that you got from Covid-19 vaccination from your body with these treatments. Here is how to do it."

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on December 29, 2021. ( AFP)

The purported "antiparasitic treatments" are:

It was shared alongside a link to a YouTube clip that details how to create a foot bath and how to use a UV torch on a human body.

Similar claims have been shared on Facebook here and here, as well as on YouTube here and here.

However, the purported treatments have not been proven to be effective and could actually be harmful, health experts told AFP.

The post also falsely claims that Covid-19 vaccines contain parasites and graphene oxide, which AFP previously debunked here and here.

Foot bath claims

"There is currently no evidence that epsom salt baths can help kill parasites and pull other metals out of the body,” according to health experts at Meedan, a global technology non-profit organisation.

"One unfounded theory suggests that magnesium and sulfate derived from saltwater can draw out toxins from the body, but there is no data to suggest this occurs in humans nor that it is plausible biologically," the health experts told AFP.

It is theoretically possible to use electricity to kill parasites in water, but this method has not been widely tested in humans, they said.

"In general, data suggests that certain electromagnetic frequencies can kill certain parasites, but is not a highly used or particularly data-backed method for use in humans," they said.

UV light

The American Cancer Society warns that UV light — either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds — can cause health problems.

"Many people believe the UV rays of tanning beds are harmless. This is not true. The best thing to do is to not use tanning beds (or booths)," the American Cancer Society says.

Health experts at Meedan said that although ultraviolet light can kill some parasites at specific wavelengths, it has not typically been used on humans because it can increase the risk of skin cancer.

"Germ-killing properties exist in UVC light – the smallest and most energetic ultraviolet light -- but this light can also cause severe damage in humans," they said.