Another vax conspiracy theory debunked: COVID-19 jabs don’t contain substance that tracks people

November 4, 2021 - 2:36 PM
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The Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is displayed at CHU Tivoli hospital in La Louviere, Belgium, January 18, 2021. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

COVID-19 vaccines do not have an enzyme called “luciferase” to track people, according to a vaccinologist.

On Wednesday, Melvin Sanicas, physician-scientist specializing in vaccines, dismissed this new conspiracy theory against jabs which he said had started to develop in some online communities.

“Just so you know, #fakenews developers have created a NEW ridiculous (and FALSE) reason not to get vaccinated. As always, #COVID thanks them for their continued support!” Sanicas said.

He debunked the false claim in a summary:

  1. There is NO luciferase in vaccines.
  2. Luciferase is the light-emitting #enzyme responsible for the bioluminescence of #fireflies & click beetles.
  3. Luciferase has NOTHING to do with the devil. Lucifer is Latin for light-bringer.

According to Science Direct, luciferase is “a light-producing enzyme naturally found in insect fireflies and in luminous marine and terrestrial microorganisms.”

In another study cited in the science hub, advances in video cameras also allowed them to capture or visualize the behavior of this enzyme in living animals.

“Thanks to recent advances in high-sensitivity photon-counting video cameras, a number of studies have employed Luc as a reporter gene in real-time noninvasive in vivo imaging,” the study said.

“This in vivo imaging allows the visualization of the spatial and temporal behavior of Luc-expressing cells in living animals; for example, growth of tumor cells, trafficking of immune cells, and migration of transplanted cells,” it added.

Origin of the claim

A writer from US-based publication Newsmax named Emerald Robinson reportedly started the rumor that this enzyme is allegedly present in COVID-19 jabs.

In a Forbes article, Robinson made this claim in a tweet, which read:

“Dear Christians: the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called luciferase so that you can be tracked.”

Robinson also tweet-quoted another post that claimed the Moderna vaccine is the one that allegedly contained human tracker luciferase.

Forbes writer Bruce Lee pointed out that the enzyme is not found in Moderna’s list of ingredients provided by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“This list has messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, and sucrose but nothing that looks like luciferase or luciferins. The same applies for the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines,” Lee wrote.

WebMD, a medical website, explained that luciferase is used as a tracker but for cells of living animals such as mice.

Scientists perform this process to study how viruses enter cells and other diagnosis of illnesses.

“Luciferases have been used for developing diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, including COVID, and for tracing how viruses enter cells,” the website said.

For developing vaccines, luciferase was used during the mouse trials of mRNA vaccines only.

It was not part of the final doses distributed to people.

“They used the enzyme only for those studies, and it is not part of either of the mRNA vaccines given to people or any of the other COVID vaccines. In other words, getting vaccinated will not cause you to glow like a firefly,” WebMD said.