Still prevalent ‘microchip’ conspiracy theory on COVID-19 vaccines debunked

June 17, 2021 - 8:50 PM
A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/File Photo)

There are no microchips inside COVID-19 vaccines, according to a vaccinologist.

Melvin Sanicas, physician-scientist specializing in vaccines, dismissed the still prevailing conspiracy theory which had been going around online communities since last year. He cited that there is no evidence that there are microchips in COVID-19 jabs.


In a post on June 15, Sanicas stated that there’s a video being circulated that showed animals being injected with microchips for surveillance.

The needle being used in this process, however, is far thicker than the one being used in the COVID-19 vaccination.

“There is no microchip inside vaccines. A video of a needle used to microchip animals that is circulating online does not prove this is being done on humans with COVID-19 vaccines because the needle in the video is more than double the thickness of COVID-19 vaccine needles (vaccine needles are much smaller = the ‘microchip’ cannot fit),” he said.

Sanicas also specified the difference between the needle size for microchips and the one being used for COVID-19 inoculation.

“The 15 gauge Microchip ID needle has an outer diameter of approximately 1.83 mm, while a 22 gauge needle (the thickest needle used for COVID-19 vaccines) measures 1.11 mm thinner with an outer diameter of 0.72mm,” he said.

The infectious disease expert also cited “oversharing” as a reason why there is no need to conduct surveillance on an individual.

He also attached a comic strip that reflected how much personal information social media users share online.

“Also, there is no need to ‘monitor’ you via vaccines because you have shared everything (overshared) on TikTok / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook etc. It’s all recorded somewhere. ‘They’ have all the information they need,” Sanicas said.

The origins of the rumor that pharmaceutical companies use COVID-19 vaccines to insert microchips into humans could not be determined.

However, international news outlets reported that such unverified claim immediately reached online spaces across the world early into the COVID-19 vaccine development.

Various rumors about microchips and COVID-19 vaccines

In a BBC report released May 2020, the head of a Russian Communist party claimed that there will be a “covert mass chip implantation” in the guise of vaccination against COVID-19 in the future.

Roger Stone, a former adviser to former US President Donald Trump, specifically accused Bill Gates of using the deadly virus to “microchipping people.”

Moreover, the billionaire also shared in an interview about having “digital certificates” to help track COVID-19 patients.

This eventually spiraled to accusations that Gates will implant microchips to help fight the health crisis.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, however, immediately denied this as false.

“The reference to ‘digital certificates’ relates to efforts to create an open-source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing,” read its statement as quoted in the BBC report.

In a separate report by The Verge, despite Gates and his organization’s clarification, the microchip conspiracy spread like wildfire, particularly among anti-vaxxers.

“As the nation moves into a phase when most vaccine enthusiasts have gotten their shots, this broad coalition of the skeptical poses a massive challenge for public health officials. The next phase of vaccination will likely depend on reaching members of this population and understanding their specific concerns,” read the article.