Days after Arvind Sonar, an elderly citizen of Nashik in Maharashtra, claimed that he had developed magnetic powers after taking the second dose of the Covid vaccine, a 58-year-old resident of Siliguri, Nepal Chakraborty, also attracted good media attention across the country on June 13 for his apparent ability to attract metallic things such as plates, spoons, coins, scissors and nail-cutters.

He claimed that he had developed this magnetic power after he took the first dose of Covishield on June 7. After Arvind and Nepal’s claim that they had developed magnetic powers after getting the Covid-19 vaccine, a large number of videos, including the highly viral videos of Tahir Ansari of Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh and Shantaram Chaudhary of Maharashtra’s Ulhasnagar, are doing the rounds on the internet, claiming Covid19 vaccines can make people “magnetic.”

However, experts in north Bengal held that there was nothing new in the phenomenon of objects sticking miraculously to the skin.

“This isn’t the first time a person has claimed to possess magnetic powers. There are several such incidents registered way before this. In May 2016, Arun Raikwar from Sagar in Madhya Pradesh attracted a lot of attention, when he claimed that he could attract spoons and nails to his skin with what he believed were ‘special waves.’ The YouTube is strewn with videos demonstrating bodily magnetism, which were posted years before the Coronavirus came into existence. Scientists and paranormal sceptics have claimed that they have tested alleged attractors long before the vaccines were invented to see whether they were generating magnetic fields and found that they weren’t,” said Dr Kaushik Bhattacharya, a senior surgeon of north Bengal.

Dr Bhattacharya said that that there was no connection between vaccination and the magnetic force demonstrated in the viral videos by many people. “No vaccine can bring magnetic force into the human body. Other tests need to be done to find out why the magnetic force came in those people or whether it was in them way before they were vaccinated,” he said.

The renowned surgeon pointed out that with the third wave round the corner, the vaccine hesitancy created by the viral videos, especially in the rural parts of north Bengal, could have serious consequences.

“The videos have created tremendous panic among a large number of people in north Bengal as in other parts of the country. Many people are now are reluctant to take the jabs. The disease may spiral out of control in the third wave if the authorities do not take immediate steps to remove the misconceptions regarding vaccination, which have been created by the viral videos,” he cautioned.