No, a Pfizer document does not confirm their mRNA-based COVID vaccine contains graphene oxide

By: Praveen Kumar
May 3 2023

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No, a Pfizer document does not confirm their mRNA-based COVID vaccine contains graphene oxide


The Verdict False

Pfizer's mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine does not contain graphene oxide. A procedure for studying the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has been misinterpreted.

Claim ID 9d09735f


A Facebook post falsely claims that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed "graphene oxide is in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines" in confidential Pfizer documents released by a U.S. federal court order. This claim is also viral on Twitter in vaccine-skeptic circles.

A group of scientists and doctors called Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency obtained the document under the Freedom of Information Act and published it on February 1, 2023. However, a mention of graphene oxide within the document has been misrepresented to make false claims about the ingredients in the vaccine.

In Fact

A Pfizer spokesperson told Logically Facts, "Graphene oxide is not used in the manufacture of COMIRNATY. There is no graphene oxide used in the manufacturing process, and there is none in the raw materials and final vaccine product. Graphene oxide is used in a lab experiment to aid in the visualization of proteins via electron microscopy. In this experiment, Graphene oxide is frequently placed onto a meshed grid which supports the protein sample to be analyzed. The use of graphene oxide, as part of this analytical procedure, is completely unrelated to the manufacture of COMIRNATY."

The Pfizer document in question, titled "Structural and Biophysical Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein (P2 S) as a Vaccine Antigen," does not cover the manufacturing process or the complete set of ingredients of Comirnaty, Pfizer's mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine as marketed in Europe and other parts of the world. 

On April 12, the FDA responded to a tweet making this claim and stated that graphene oxide is not an ingredient in the vaccine, writing, "Graphene oxide is included in a sentence on page 7 to describe, in part, the lab procedure pertaining to the study of the structural characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using a specific type of microscope. Graphene oxide is a material to aid in protein imaging."

The official list of ingredients in Comirnaty is also available to the public and does not include graphene oxide. It can be accessed on the websites of the FDA, the European Medicines Agency, and other similar organizations. Logically Facts has previously debunked the claim that graphene oxide is an ingredient of COVID-19 vaccines and other false conspiracy theories.

The Verdict

Graphene oxide is not an ingredient in Comirnaty, Pfizer's mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, and is not part of its manufacturing process. The reference to graphene oxide in the document is from a procedure for studying the structural characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and not the vaccine's manufacturing process, which has been misinterpreted. Therefore, we have marked this claim false.

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