One of the most shared claims this week – one that has been circulating since early this year – is that the coronavirus pandemic is a cover for a plan to implant tiny trackable microchips in people and that Mr Gates is behind it all.
There is no evidence to support these claims and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has told the BBC they’re entirely false.
Despite the lack of evidence, in May a YouGov poll of 1,640 people suggested 28% of Americans believed Mr Gates wanted to use vaccines to implant microchips in people – with the figure rising to 44% among Republicans.
A White House correspondent for a pro-Trump website, Newsmax, told her 264,000 followers on Twitter to “beware” the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Emerald Robinson claimed in the Tweet: “It tampers with your DNA.”
The fear that a vaccine will somehow change your DNA is another one we’ve seen aired regularly on Facebook posts.
The BBC asked three independent scientists about this. They said that the coronavirus vaccine would not alter human DNA.
Many vaccines do have side-effects. But the vast majority are not nearly as scary as anti-vaccine activists would have us believe.
“Like all vaccines, this vaccine can cause short-lived side-effects, including pain at the injection site, fever, muscle aches and pains, headache and fatigue,” said Dr Penny Ward.