Pfizer vaccine does not contain graphene oxide

CLAIM: The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is made up of 99.9% graphene oxide, a toxic compound.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Pfizer vaccine does not contain any graphene oxide, a Pfizer representative confirmed to The Associated Press. The study referenced in this bogus claim is not peer reviewed, nor is it supported by Spain’s University of Almeria as some have claimed.

THE FACTS: Graphene oxide is not among the ingredients found in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite alarmist claims to the contrary on social media.

Videos spreading widely on Instagram and Twitter on Thursday touted a report from Spain that allegedly claimed to find graphene oxide — a material made by oxidizing graphite — in a vial of the Pfizer shot.

“There’s no other reason for this to be in here except to murder people,” said a woman in one of the videos. The woman also baselessly claimed the compound would cause an inflammatory immune reaction called a cytokine storm in people who got the vaccine.

In reality, there’s no graphene oxide in the Pfizer vaccine, according to the ingredient list and Kit Longley, senior manager of science media relations at Pfizer. There’s also no evidence to suggest the Pfizer vaccine would cause a cytokine storm, Longley said. The coronavirus, however, has caused this type of immune response in some patients.

Chemical and medical experts who are not associated with Pfizer confirmed to The Associated Press that there is no way graphene oxide would be found in the vaccine.

“It is not in the ingredient list and there is no way it could be present,” said Allen Myerson, a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Utter nonsense,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

There has been research on potentially using graphene oxide in other vaccines, but the amounts would not be toxic to human cells, according to Johns Hopkins infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja.

The report cited in some of the viral posts lists Spain’s University of Almeria on its title page, and appears to be written by a professor at the university. The university has said it was not involved in research indicating the presence of graphene in the vaccine.

The university added in a statement that it supports vaccines and disavows the conclusions of the professor’s unofficial report, which analyzed a “sample of unknown origin.”

The report has not been peer reviewed and is not published in a scientific journal. It includes a disclaimer that its findings do not represent any institutional position of the university.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

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