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MSNBC news reports that some people are claiming that vaccines cause the body to become magnetic. (The report is disparaging about the claimants.)

There are video snippets from 0:39 to 1:43 of a Ohio House Health Committee meeting where it's claimed that people are magnetized after receiving the vaccine:

[...] a combination of the protein which now we're finding has a metal attached to it, I'm sure you've seen the pictures all over the internet of people who've had these shots and now they're magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead it sticks they can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick [...]

[...]

I just found out something when I was on lunch and I wanted to show it to you, we were talking about Dr. Tenpenny's testimony about magnetic vaccine crystals, so this is what I found out, so I have a key and a bobby pin here explain to me why the key sticks to me [...]

Reuters Fact Check, May 19, 2021 refuted these claims:

However, these posts are not evidence of a magnetic reaction nor that COVID-19 jabs contain a microchip.

Do vaccines cause people to become magnetic?

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  • 2
    Should this be the canonical "vaccine magnetism" q?
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jun 22 at 21:51
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    When I first looked at this question, I thought the initial downvotes were harsh and inappropriate. But, when I looked at the Reuters Fact Check site, I realised you already had an answer. (Okay, it doesn't explain how the natural stickiness of the skin is sufficient to hold up light, flat items, but it covers the rest well.) What more do you expect from us in an answer? How can we avoid just repeating what has already been said?
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 23 at 7:30
  • There is a very effective refutation many wish was used live with the people claiming to show evidence: many of the items they claim stick to their skin are things that don't even stick to strong magnets (keys are usually made of non-magnetic brass, for example). Had anyone done that experiment live most claims would instantly be laughed away.
    – matt_black
    Jun 23 at 15:59
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    Let's be clear, no credible news report says that this is possible. It's reporting on people who are lying and/or disseminating completely ridiculous information to profit or self-promote during this crisis. This question is disingenuous.
    – user8356
    Jun 23 at 19:21
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People have claimed that their bodies are magnetic and attract metal objects for many decades.

It's a surprisingly easy trick to pull off. The Science Based Life blog explains:

The “magnetic” ability is based entirely on friction. First, the objects that are placed on the body typically have smooth surfaces (such as metal or glass) which have a good amount of surface area. Second, the people who you see performing their ability are always leaning slightly backwards (whether they consciously know it or not). This decreases the amount of force that the friction from the skin has to counter due to gravity.

It shows the magician James Randi debunking such a claim by dabbing talcum powder on the skin of a claimant, who is no longer able to reproduce the "magnetism".

None of the vaccines contain any magnetic components. You can see this here; page 20 gives a list of ingredients. Because vaccines are "group 2" pharmaceuticals (administered to healthy individuals), almost all countries perform independent "lot release" tests (meaning an unprecedented level of international cooperation would be required); and literally any untoward material would be flagged by even the most basic spectrometry.

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  • @ARogueAnt. Here are the links. Check page 2 on all of them. Moderna: fda.gov/media/144638/download J&J: fda.gov/media/146305/download Pfizer: fda.gov/media/144414/download Jun 23 at 3:33
  • Apologies, misread the link, comment withdrawn. @BarryHarrison That being said, the Jansen one only has a list of "ingredients include", not full ingredients. Jun 23 at 3:36
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    @ARogueAnt. No need to apologize or delete your comment. Let's be honest, this answer can be improved. There's no need to cite a source that buries the ingredients on page 20 and the source only cites a source for Moderna but not for the other vaccines. (I don't mean to be negative about the answer.) Jun 23 at 3:38
  • @BarryHarrison I agree - I am certain that a more concise and convincing answer already exists somewhere.
    – 0xDBFB7
    Jun 23 at 15:03
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Some vaccines contain aluminium and mercury. Meridian Clinical Research says in Do Vaccines Contain Aluminum or Mercury?

The Role of Aluminum in Vaccines Aluminum is an adjuvant ingredient in vaccines. In vaccines, adjuvants are used to stimulate a stronger immune response.

and

The Role of Mercury in Vaccines Mercury is found in a compound called thimerosal, which is used in some vaccines as a preservative.

but neither of those metals is magnetic.

The US National Institutes of Health has published a study into metal in vaccines and other biological products:

A survey of the concentrations of eleven metals in vaccines, allergenic extracts, toxoids, blood, blood derivatives and other biological products

This states:

Approximately 85 samples of injectable biological products regulated by the Center for Drugs and Biologics of the United States Food and Drug Administration were surveyed for the presence of 11 elements, namely aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, thallium and zinc.

and concludes:

The metal concentrations found in the majority of these products were low or undetectable.

None of those metals has magnetic properties, except barium which is paramagnetic, meaning it is weakly attracted by an external magnetic field.

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    Thimersol is extremely rare as a vaccine preservative due to rumors that it causes autism.
    – Mark
    Jun 23 at 0:27
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    @Mark “rumors” => “deliberate lies”. Jun 23 at 14:33
  • One could even say that human blood in itself is magnetic due to the iron component. The question is how much of a magnetic field to produce any noticable effects.
    – Old_Fossil
    Jun 24 at 4:34

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