Facebook posts falsely link Astroworld deaths to Covid-19 vaccines

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Facebook posts claim the deadly crush at rapper Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival was caused by graphene oxide in Covid-19 vaccines that allowed concertgoers to be controlled. This is false; the substance is not an ingredient in any of the shots authorized in the United States, and authorities are still investigating events at the Houston, Texas, concert.

"This is a test run on the vaxxed," says a November 7, 2021 Facebook post featuring a video montage that includes footage of injured people at the concert.

"Once they put graphene oxide in you, all they have to do is TUNE THE FREQUENCY!!" it says, claiming that the substance allowed vaccine recipients to be controlled through music at the festival.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on November 9, 2021

The claim -- part of a series of inaccurate assertions about the Covid-19 vaccines that discourage people from getting the shots -- also appeared on Facebook here and here.

The crowd surged toward the stage during Scott's November 5 concert, killing eight people, sending dozens to the hospital and sparking more than a dozen lawsuits.

But the claims refer to a substance which is not in Covid-19 vaccines.

The contents of all the Covid-19 vaccines in use in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) are publicly listed and do not include graphene oxide.

Pfizer spokeswoman Dervila Keane confirmed on July 8 that "graphene oxide is not used in the manufacture of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine."

Professor Hong Byung-hee, an expert in nanomaterials at Seoul National University, said on July 19 that "graphene is being tested for biomedical purposes, including for vaccines, but these applications are still in an experimental phase and a long wait is expected before they become commercially available following clinical trials."

And Aiping Yu, an associate professor in the chemical engineering department at the University of Waterloo, said on November 9 that it is an inorganic material not used in vaccines. "There is no graphene oxide in current vaccine," she said.

Asked if graphene oxide can respond to wave frequencies or music, Yu said: "Not at all." She explained that graphene oxide does not have "magnetic properties."

The investigation into what took place at the concert is ongoing, with both homicide and narcotics detectives taking part.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that "this is a very, very active investigation, and we will probably be at it for quite some time to determine what exactly happened."

The deaths and injuries led to unfounded speculation on social media, with some posts claiming Covid-19 vaccination was involved, or that the festival was a "Satanic ritual."

AFP Fact Check has debunked other inaccurate claims about vaccines here.

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