Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is plotting to use the vaccine to implant people with location-tracking microchips.

For months, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have spread misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. One of the most widespread false claims says Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is plotting to use the vaccine to implant people with location-tracking microchips.

This is not true. Gates addressed the conspiracy theory himself in June, telling reporters the claim was so bizarre it was almost humorous. Twitter users have also made light of the myth with a multitude of memes.

“It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility,” Gates said in a media call announcing US$1.6 billion in funding for immunization in poor countries, per USA Today.

But misinformation about the vaccine is no laughing matter. For life to return to a pre-COVID-19 level of normalcy, 75 to 85 percent of Americans need to get vaccinated, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said.

Conspiracy theories about the vaccine pose a threat to public trust in the shots, which is vital to reaching that threshold. Claims that the vaccine contains a microchip that can track people’s locations or identify who has been vaccinated are false and based on misconstrued information.

The microchips myth may have come from an idea for smart syringe packaging

Videos containing altered or out-of-context footage from news reports and interviews have been widely shared on social media, fuelling the fire of the microchips conspiracy theory.

One particular video, which has been shared more than 40,000 times since a November 15 repost, could shed some light on the myth’s origins. The video includes fragments of a CBN interview with Jay Walker, executive chairman of syringe maker Apiject, in which he talks about an optional barcode-like label for the vaccine

In the original interview, it’s clear that this label would be optional and the RFID chip in question would be affixed to the outside of the syringe, not injected along with its contents. The chip was designed to distinguish the real vaccine from counterfeit or expired doses, and to track when injections are used.

Steve Hofman, an Apiject spokesman, told Reuters that the special label has not been requested by vaccine manufacturers so far.

The video shared on Facebook also contains an obviously edited clip of Bill Gates made to look like he’s saying “innovations like vaccines, we need a measuring system that tracks the vaccine.”

Reuters tracked down Gates’ original speech from a 2013 financial inclusion forum, where he referred to vaccines as a breakthrough innovation and later called for a system to track financial inclusion, not vaccine distribution.

What’s in Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

Pfizer has gone public with a list of ingredients that are actually in its vaccine, and a microchip is not among them.

The active ingredient in the shot is a snippet of the virus’s genetic material called messenger RNA. As Insider’s Hilary Brueck explained, mRNA acts as “a genetic punching bag for the body to learn how to fight against the proteins that help COVID-19 invade our cells.”

A mix of sugar, salt, and fats cushion the metaphorical punching bag and make it possible to deliver the vaccine via intramuscular injection.

Here’s the full list of ingredients in Pfizer’s shot:

A nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 (this is what makes the shot work)

Lipids, or fatty substances, including:

  • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate),
  • 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N, N-ditetradecylacetamide,
  • 1,2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine,
  • and cholesterol

Potassium chloride

Monobasic potassium phosphate

Sodium chloride (salt)

Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate

Sucrose (sugar)

What’s in Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

Moderna, the other vaccine maker that was recently granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA, also released a fact sheet detailing the ingredients in its COVID-19 vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine contains:

Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)

Lipids, or fatty substances, including:

  • SM(sphyngomyelin)-102
  • Polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG],
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC],
  • and cholesterol


Tromethamine hydrochloride

Acetic acid

Sodium acetate

Sucrose (sugar)

Originally published at Science Alert