A Belgian study has debunked the misconceptions spread on social networks that coronavirus vaccines make arms magnetic.
The research carried out by the University of Namur (UNamur) found that adhesion phenomena in which certain materials can stick to the skin were present, but that these are most likely related to a local inflammatory reaction with the secretion of water and sebum.
Several videos and photos have circulated on social media showing objects such as keys, cutlery, and smartphones sticking to the arms of people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, leading UNamur's Professor Jean-Michel Dogné to examine whether this could be due to magnetism.
However, by measuring the levels of magnetism with various devices that detect magnetic fields, the results have clearly proven that no magnetism is present. It also found that materials on which magnetism has no influence, such as aluminium, would also stick to the arm.
The researchers found that this "adhesion phenomenon" did not occur in the un-vaccinated arm, adding that this could be explained by the fact that vaccination can cause a local inflammatory reaction, which in certain individuals can lead to increased secretion of water and possibly sebum.
As a result, these substances can cause contact adhesion of certain materials. According to the research, this adhesive effect can be reversed by applying magnesium sulphate.
Rumors and conspiracy theories like this one can contribute to vaccine hesitancy. A study published last month, which focused on fake news around coronavirus vaccines, monitored online data related to the vaccine candidates to track vaccine misinformation in real-time and assist in negating its impact.
By analysing the rumours circulating on online platforms, understanding their context, the researchers found that engaging with the misinformation and proving it wrong can increase vaccine acceptance.