Do Pfizer Vaccines Contain Microchips?

A viral tweet has been circulating claiming that  Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has implied a connection between Pfizer vaccines and a microchip, based on a video clip of Bourla talking about the FDA’s approval of the “first electronic pill.” 

This isn’t the first time we’ve fact checked the claim that vaccines could contain microchips. None of the COVID-19 vaccines do. This recent claim, which is false, originates from a different source than the first microchip rumor, involving Bill Gates and the insinuation of trackable microchips injected into COVID-19 vaccine recipients.

A spokesman for Pfizer confirmed to The Dispatch Fact Check via email that the claim that there is a connection between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and microchips is false. 

The video being circulated in the viral tweet comes, as Snopes first reported, from Bourla’s appearance at the World Economic Forum in 2018, where he participated in a panel discussing “how are technologies shaping the future of health care?”

In the abridged clip being shared on Twitter, Bourla responds to a participant who asks him, based on the fact that “there is no guarantee that the patient is going to take the drug or wear the device,” how is he “thinking about technology to engage the patient?” Bourla responds that the “FDA approved the first electronic pill, if I can call it like that.” He continues by saying: “It’s basically a biological chip that is in the tablet and once you take the table it sends a signal that you took the tablet.”

Bourla’s response has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines, or any vaccine for that matter. Because this clip is from 2018, it’s clear that Bourla made the comments well before the start of the pandemic. Bourla made the remarks in reference to a schizophrenia treatment, after the FDA’s approval of Abilify MyCite (aripiprazole tablets with sensor), approved shortly before this 2018 forum. Abilify MyCite is the first approved drug in the U.S. with a digital ingestion tracking system, according to the FDA

Per a press release from November 2017, Abilify MyCite is “approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.” The press release explains that it works “by sending a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch. The patch transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone.”

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