In the past few days, a surprising trend has started on TikTok, Instagram and other social networks. On several videos we see people who claim to have been vaccinated against Covid-19, who have fun placing a magnetic or metallic object at the bite site. According to these videos, something special was going to happen as the object placed on the arm would stay fixed.
Especially the video of a 70-year-old man made this trend go viral. The latter, who is returning from the vaccination, explains: “I was sent the video this morning, I did not believe it, and here I experience it myself”. So the man begins to put his smartphone in his arm and, as if by magic, the smartphone stays in place. At least almost, because it has to be done twice to properly repair the smartphone.
Beware of fake news!
While this practice quickly became a TikTok challenge, getting the record right is important. Hélène Fischer, a teacher and researcher at the Jean Lamour Institute, told 20Minutes that even if any of the vaccines on the market contained an atom of iron, cobalt or even nickel, the amount would be so small that there was no way it would be kept could be the smallest object. Hélène Fischer also reminds us that we all have iron ions in our body, but that doesn’t mean we are magnetic.
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If you do not believe Hélène Fischer’s explanations, you can always check the composition of the vaccines on the website of the European Medicines Agency.
Bottom line, all videos of people sticking smartphones, keys or magnets on their arms are certainly true, but have nothing to do with the vaccine. By putting a little water on your arm or just getting hot it is pretty easy to glue something on. Some would even go so far as to use duct tape to create the illusion.