Fact Check

FACT CHECK: Can COVID-19 vaccine injection site light a bulb?

By Emiene Odaudu-Erameh

At first look, it might appear like a prank or some kind of social media challenge, but it is not.

A TikTok video which has been shared numerous times on WhatsApp showed a man who claims that the Covid-19 vaccine site on the human arm can be used to light up an electric bulb.

“Hey listen, I just got the Covid vaccine you see the mark here, just got it and look what happens. I took one of them light bulbs and when I … the man then places the light bulb at the vaccine site and it lights up. “look at that” he continues, “and when I do it on my other arm, nothing why is it doing that can somebody tell me?”, the man asked.

While better informed Nigerians laughed at and dismissed the video, those who are hesitant about taking the vaccine refer to the video and many others like it which are aimed at spreading misinformation and disinformation.

But is the claim that the Covid-19 light up electrical bulbs true?

What is a Light Bulb made out of and what does it take to light it up?

According to Wikibooks, “the light bulb has a tungsten filament as the light-emitting media. Electricity flows through a thin tungsten wire in the light bulb called the filament. The filament used in a bulb has a property called “resistance.”

Resistance is the amount of friction that an object will put against electricity flowing through it.

Tungsten filament is manufactured in such a way that it has a lot of resistance to electricity. As a result of this resistance, the filament heats up and starts glowing, converting electrical energy to light energy.

“This is because of the Joule-effect, which means that resistances heat up when an electrical current runs through them. The electricity is converted into light and heat illuminating its surroundings.”

So does the Covid-19 vaccine contain electromagnetic material capable of lighting a bulb?

The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has debunked this claim.

“No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.

“COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals,” the CDC elucidated in an explainer on its website.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also debunked the claim.

Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of NPHCDA, said “the anti-vaccination elements have come up with magnetic conspiracy, which they claim, and are deceiving people with videos, that COVID-19 vaccine creates magnetic field around vaccination site and can cause the body to light up an electric bulb.

“As ridiculous as this and other conspiracy theories are, vulnerable people believe them and are therefore continuing to take the risk of avoiding COVID-19 vaccination.

“Today I would like to make it very clear and demonstrate publicly that COVID-19 vaccine does not create any magnetic effect around the vaccination site or any part of the body for that matter, neither does it cause the body to light up an electric bulb.”

A study by researchers from the University of Oxford which had its results published by the British Medical Journal BMJ, confirmed that there are “substantially higher and more prolonged risks after infection than after vaccination,”

The study encouraged people to take the vaccine and the researchers found that people who contracted the virus were more likely to have lower levels of platelets compared with those who received a first dose of either vaccine. The study also showed the unvaccinated who contracted the disease were at greater risk of stroke.

VERDICT: FALSE Covid-19 vaccine injection site is not capable of lighting electric bulbs.

This NewsWireNGR publication was produced as part of IWPR’s African Resilience Network, https://africaresiliencenetwork.com programme, administered in partnership with the Center for Information Resilience (CIR), the International Center for Investigative Reporting  (ICIR) and Africa Uncensored.

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