Woman Accidentally Spreads Vaccine Misinformation With Microchip 'Joke' Viral Video

A video shared online jokingly indicating that a pet microchip reader could detect a COVID vaccine accidentally spread misinformation, after users took it seriously.

The video was originally posted by TikTok user jasmine_0708, and captured a work colleague scanning another colleague's arm, unsurprisingly showing the result: "No ID found."

"Now here's my vaccinated arm." the woman said, urging her to scan it. When they scan her other arm, a chip is detected and shows its ID on the machine. One woman appears shocked, holding her hand over mouth.

In a comment, the TikTok user confirmed that the whole video was a joke, writing: "You guys clearly don't know what a joke is. It's obviously a dog chip [under the sleeve]. Get a load of yourself."

"Like for real, liking and commenting on my TikTok is one thing but contacting me while I'm at work is ridiculous. You guys believe anything on the internet," she wrote.

The video has gained over one million likes, and although for some the comedic factor was obvious, many believed it. "That's why I never had the COVID [vaccine] and will never take the shots," wrote one user.

"It was their plan for a long time. So sad what is going to happen in the future," added another.

Social media accounts across different platforms went on to share the video, without any disclaimers about its legitimacy. An Instagram account called "timetoawake," with over 28,000 followers, reposted the video at the end of June, writing "thoughts on this?"

Instagram flagged the video as having "missing context," adding that: "Independent fact-checkers say misinformation in this post could mislead people," in a pop-up banner.

The warning however didn't stop people believing it, with one follower writing: "Should have listened to your conspiracy theorist friends. We tried to warn you they chipped y'all."

Conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID vaccines have been rife since the beginning of the pandemic, many involving speculations of microchips in the vaccines and often pointing fingers at Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose foundation donated tremendously to the effort to find a vaccine.

Such theories have consistently been debunked by various figures and organizations. On CBS This Morning, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky answered a question on a TikTok-born theory that a coin sticking to your arm indicated a chip, saying: "That's ridiculous. We are not being injected with chips. What we're being injected with is this incredible scientific breakthrough that keeps us safe and is effective against something that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans over the last 15 months."

On TikTok, a theory suggesting the vaccine makes your arm magnetic has plagued the app in recent months, with many believing it indicates the presence of a chip. Experts, including the CDC, have evidenced that a coin sticking to an arm is caused by natural oils on the skin, and can happen without a vaccine.

On June 6, TikTok user Rob Marrocco attempted to prove the magnet theory by coating his arm in baby powder first, to prove it's not from sticky skin. The attempt failed and the magnet simply dropped from his arm this time.

"Everybody secretly wants to find out that some larger-than-life thing they read on the internet is actually true. But then it just turns out I was another sucker who fell for it and started telling everybody I knew, before doing any of the testing myself," he told Newsweek in June.

Unlike those who have shared the pet chip video however, Morocco didn't believe the magnet had anything to do with a tracking chip: "I should be clear, I never thought that there was a tracking chip in me, or that the needle broke off, or something like that... my mind immediately thought 'oh, maybe there's like, a lot of blood in that area because its sore... and the magnet is sticking to the iron in my blood?' Looking back, yeah, kind of a stretch," he said.

Patient rejects doctor's vaccine in office
Patient rejecting vaccine offered by a doctor. A viral video accidentally fuelled conspiracy theories of microchips in the vaccines. Getty Images