The Australian government has helpfully confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines won’t connect you to the internet as part of their attempts to dispel myths about the jab.
When people think misinformation and conspiracy theories, they often think of complicated and sophisticated attempts to mislead or confuse. Sometimes they’re based on misreadings of hard-to-understand scientific literature that can seem convincing to a layperson.
But very often, they’re quite dumb. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be debunked.
Which leads us to the very informative resource put out by the Department of Health: ‘Is it true? Can COVID-19 vaccines connect me to the internet?‘
Fortunately — or perhaps unfortunately, depending on who you ask — it is absolutely not true.
“COVID-19 vaccines do not – and cannot – connect you to the internet,” the page states.
According to the resource, conspiracy theorists have gotten it in their head that a material used as part of mRNA vaccines is actually there to facilitate the installation of an electronic implant… to connect you to the internet? If it sounds like this author doesn’t quite understand it, that’s because the theory is hard to follow.
That hasn’t stopped some government employee from having to write a straight-faced answer that methodically debunks the ridiculous conspiracy theory.
“Some of the mRNA vaccines being developed include the use of a material called a hydrogel, which might help disperse the vaccine slowly into our cells,” the Department of Health factsheet reads.
“The Pfizer mRNA vaccine does not use hydrogels as a component.”
As obviously stupid as this sounds, it’s important that resources like this exist to fill up an information vacuum that would otherwise be filled with cranks and grifters.
By creating this resource, the Department of Health has ensured that there is good quality information in case someone is unsure or even believes this idea.
Part of the solution to the confusion and mistrust about health is institutions answering questions — no matter if they’re as dumb as whether vaccines can connect you to the internet — and explaining how things work.