A California health official had to compose himself Tuesday after an Orange County Republican asked him if the COVID-19 vaccine contained tracking devices.

“In the vaccine, we heard about an injection of a tracking device. Is that being done anywhere?” Orange County Board of Supervisors member Don Wagner asked the county’s health care agency director, Dr. Clayton Chau.

After a long pause, Dr. Chau laughed. 

“I’m sorry, I just have to compose myself,” Dr. Chau said. “There is not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that I know of exists in the world. Period.”

A clip of the moment went viral, garnering over 1 million views online:

The question arose during a county supervisors’ meeting to discuss vaccine passports and maintaining the region’s coronavirus state of emergency declaration. 

Wagner tweeted earlier this month that he had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Baseless conspiracy theories about vaccines containing microchips have circulated intermittently online. They have been the source of ridicule and memes that often appear on social media.

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