Health: Magnetism and a Conspiracy Theory

The Story:

Many conspiracies theories about the pandemic continue to circulate about the world. In the US especially, these theories are employed to rationalize a reluctance or a refusal to receive a vaccine against the virus. One of these theories is that the vaccine doses contain miniature devices (sometimes said to be microchips) designed to allow the government to track the vaccination person’s movements.

Video Evidence:

The vaccine-as-tracker theory is often presented with the aid of videos that purport to show magnets sticking to the arms of people who have just had the shot. The videos are presented as evidence that something metallic must just have been implanted beneath that person’s skin. But the videos don’t show any evidence that the objects involved are actually magnets. They could, for all the viewer can tell, simply have had an adhesive on the back.

The myth-busting website Snopes spoke to Edward Hutchinson, a lecturer at the Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow (Scotland). Hutchinson pointed out that the sort of nano-metallic objects that might conceivably have been included in the dosage could not have the pictured effect. There would have to be a “large lump” of such material beneath the skin to get the effect the videos claim to show.

In Pill Form:

There is an all-too-common human temptation to dig one’s self into a position and defend it against all comers out of an unwillingness to admit error and move on. Much of what is presented by way of anti-vaccine argument in our time gives the impression of falling under that head.

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