FACT CHECK: Does The COVID-19 Vaccine Truly Light Up Electric Bulbs?

 Some videos have been circulating on the internet where some individuals alleged to have received the COVID vaccine claimed that when a LED bulb is placed against the spot where the vaccine is injected, it lights up.

In the videos, the persons are seen placing a bulb against the spot where they claimed to have received the vaccine on their arms, and then the bulb comes on. But when placed on another arm or other parts of the body, the bulb does not light up.

The claim infers that the COVID vaccine contains ingredients that make a bulb produce electricity when placed against the vaccination spot.

These videos have been shared on TikTok, a social media application, and also on instant messaging services including WhatsApp.

“Hey, listen! Look at what happens…I took one light bulb…look at that. I do it on my other arm, nothing. Why is it doing that? Can someone tell me? It only does that on the top part here, right where I got this shot. This is insane,” a man said in one of the videos.

Light-emitting diode (LED) is an electrical component that emits light when electricity flows through in one direction–from the positive side (anode) to the negative side (cathode). An LED produces light when an electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources called LEDs and the result is visible light

An LED bulb contains a semiconductor device known as a diode which allows current to flow through it. The semiconductor is made of a positively charged and a negatively charged component. An LED produces light when electrons move around within its semiconductor structure. The positive layer has openings for electrons, known as holes, while the negative layer has free electrons floating around in it. When an electric charge strikes the semiconductor, it activates the flow of electrons from the negative to the positive layer. Those excited electrons emit light as they flow into the positively charged holes.


Mustafa Oloko-Oba, an engineer who spoke with TheCable, said it is practically impossible for the vaccine to electrify a bulb. 

“Scientifically, it is not possible. That vaccine is liquid. If you take an injection, it goes directly into your body system, into your blood. It is not an implant, not a metal,” he said.

“Now, if it is an implant and you put a bulb at that point, you can say it would light up because that bulb is only working at that particular point. And since the vaccine is liquid and it goes into the blood, that means it will be going all over your body. Then if the bulb is put on other parts of the body, it should light up. Then you can say it is true that the vaccine has an implant in it.”

Lawal Lukman, an electrical engineer who also spoke with TheCable, discredited the videos.

According to Lukman, although the human body is a good conductor of electricity under certain circumstances, it can not light up a bulb without the presence of metal. He said it’s likely the people in the videos fitted a small battery inside the bulb and cleverly held it in a particular position which made it light up.

“To the best of my knowledge, there’s no way that can happen.  But they probably would have placed a micro battery or device in close proximity to their body to make the bulb come on. Modern bulbs use a very low amount of power to come on such as LED bulbs and for a bulb to come on, there must be a live and neutral terminal,” he said.

“There must be an embedded chip, nano size, in the vaccine for that bulb to come on. Unless there’s a chip, which is a mental implant, in the vaccine, then, it’s a hoax.”

Georgina Odaibo, a professor of virology at the University of Ibadan (UI), also had this to say about the claim: “Unless there is something in the vaccine we don’t know about. Otherwise, I don’t see a correllation or why that should happen. Because you need a level of energy to light up a bulb, I don’t see that in the vaccine.”


Speaking on Tuesday at the weekly media briefing on the progress of COVID vaccination in the country, Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of NPHCDA, described the claim as ridiculous and asked Nigerians to try to do more research on their own using credible information sources in order not to “promote ignorance in an age of civilization”.

“It is unfortunate that the right of the public to true and accurate information on matters of collective concern is being threatened by just a few others who are taking advantage of social media to mislead people about their health,” Shuaib 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.

“It is also a well-known fact that persons with wet, moist, or sticky skin can have objects stuck to their skin especially in smooth areas. Strong friction also allows for objects to stick to the skin. COVID -19 vaccines do not contain any metal – this is another fact! So how can it generate magnetic field or light an electric bulb?”

TheCable had also fact-checked the claim that the AstraZeneca vaccine contains magnetic materials and found it to be false.

VERDICT: Available evidence shows that the COVID vaccine does not contain any implant and therefore, cannot light up electrical bulbs.

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