South Korean Olympic table tennis team member Jeon Ji-hee receives the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine during a vaccination program for the country's Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics team at the National Medical Center in Seoul on April 29, 2021. (AFP / Chung Sung-jun)

Posts falsely claim Covid-19 vaccines contain electronic devices that can activate light bulbs

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Multiple Facebook posts claim Covid-19 vaccines contain electronic devices that can turn on light bulbs. The claim is false, according to health experts. The misleading posts included a screenshot of a video that shows a light bulb trick.

The claim was shared here on Facebook on June 5, 2021.

The post's Korean-language caption translates to English in part as: “You can turn on a light bulb by placing it on your arm where the vaccine was administered. What does this mean? It means there is an electronic device in the vaccine. It’s a microchip that plays such a role.”

The posts includes a screenshot of a man holding a light bulb close to his arm, purportedly where a Covid-19 jab was administered.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on June 16, 2021.

The lengthy post goes on to claim that people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are “magnetic” and can be recognised by electronic devices.

The post also suggests this is part of a “deep state” agenda, a possible reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory. AFP reported on the QAnon movement here.

Identical claims were also shared on Facebook here, here and here.

These claims, however, are false.


“There are no ingredients in Covid-19 vaccines that could react to or power light bulbs,” a spokesman at Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) told AFP on June 9, 2021.

Ingredients of the three Covid-19 vaccine brands currently administered in South Korea -- AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Janssen -- are available to check on websites of either their respective manufacturers or reputable health authorities.

None of them list electronic devices, which health authorities say would be impossible to include in a vaccine.

“It would be impossible to inject a microchip using the needle required to provide a COVID-19 vaccine,” the UK National Health Service (NHS) said in this advisory on June 8, 2021.

“The microchip would be too large (at least 12mm x 2mm including casing) to be injected through a needle,” the advisory reads.

 AFP has previously debunked false claims that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips that turn recipients magnetic.

Light bulb trick

AFP found the screenshot seen in the misleading posts was taken from this video posted on YouTube on June 3, 2021.

The video appears to show a light bulb turning on as a person moves it close to his arm.

The person filming the video can be heard speaking in Hindi language. His comments translate to English as: “So this is evidence of [the vaccine] having a microchip?”

Similar videos have circulated online before the Covid-19 pandemic -- for example here and here -- describing how to perform camera tricks using wireless light bulbs.

This video posted on YouTube on February 10, 2019 provides a tutorial on how to perform a “human-powered” light bulb trick.