No microchip, no fetus: DOH debunks widespread myths on COVID-19 vaccines anew

June 23, 2021 - 3:37 PM
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A woman receives her first dose of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Barangay Sucat Covered Court, in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines, June 21, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

COVID-19 vaccines are not used to track people and do not directly cause their deaths.

These are among the still prevailing claims on social media that the Department of Health refuted to reduce vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos.

In an infographic titled “Fake vs Facts” released on Tuesday, DOH listed down online “myths” and science-based facts about COVID-19 jabs.

These include the conspiracy theories on COVID-19 vaccines containing microchips to track people down and that they contain chopped parts of a fetus.

 

In the post, the health agency stressed that each vaccine brand underwent screening and clinical trial tests before being approved and distributed worldwide, including the Philippines.

“These vaccines underwent rigid screening and quality control to ascertain safety. COVID-19 vaccines are safe as [they] underwent thorough processing and manufacturing,” it said.

The DOH also emphasized that a COVID-19 vaccine strengthens a person’s immune system and does not cause death.

“Vaccines strengthen the immune system. Vaccinated people do not die two years after vaccination,” it said.

Moreover, the health department also refuted claims that it is ineffective given the expedited time it was developed.

“The vaccines are still effective and underwent the same process and protocol of vaccine development. Quality is still assured even though the production was expedited,” DOH said.

Previously, Melvin Sanicas, physician-scientist specializing in vaccines, also debunked the so-called COVID-19 vaccine microchip conspiracy, citing the needles used for injecting microchips are different.

“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,” Sanicas explained in a post.

The rumor about microchips in COVID-19 vaccines reportedly started after business magnate Bill Gates previously proposed having “digital certificates” to help track infected patients.

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

The claim about the chopped parts of a fetus, meanwhile, surfaced after a video of it made rounds in some online communities in the Philippines.

DOH immediately refuted this last May.

“The Department of Health clarifies a circulating video claiming vaccines contain chopped parts of a fetus. Walang parte ng fetus sa mga bakuna, hindi din ito naglalaman ng cells ng mga ipinalaglag na sanggol,” it said.

The health agency last May debunked the beliefs that there are fetus parts in the COVID-19 vaccine.

READ: Do COVID-19 vaccines contain fetus parts? DOH debunks circulating video 

So far, the COVID-19 vaccine brands that were granted emergency use authorization by the country’s Food and Drug Administration are:

  1. Pfizer-BioNTech
  2. Oxford’s AstraZeneca
  3. Sinovac’s Coronavac
  4. Sputnik V
  5. Janssen COVID-19
  6. Covaxin
  7. Moderna