Jennifer K. Gates, the daughter of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, got her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Friday and offered a lighthearted debunking of one conspiracy theory around it.
“Sadly the vaccine did NOT implant my genius father into my brain - if only mRNA had that power…..!” she wrote with a winking emoji in a post on Instagram.
The quip is a reference to her father Bill Gates, the billionaire tech mogul, who has centered his philanthropic efforts with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on improving vaccine technology and access in the developing world. He has also long warned about the possibility of a viral pandemic, well before Covid-19 spread across the globe.
His vaccine advocacy has made him a central figure in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. One outlandish belief is that he is using the pandemic to push a vaccine with a microchip that would control people’s minds or track their location. (Here’s what is actually in the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines.)
In a CNN town hall in July, Gates said he worried the false theories could have a very real impact.
“I hope it doesn’t create vaccine hesitancy,” he said.
Aside from the joke, Jennifer Gates’ Instagram post showed the 24-year-old medical student wearing a mask and holding up an “I got my Covid-19 vaccine” sticker.
“I am beyond privileged to receive my first dose of mRNA to teach my cells to amount a protective immune response to this virus,” she wrote in the caption. “As a medical student and aspiring physician, I am grateful it will give me protection and safety for my future practice. I’d urge everyone to read more and strongly consider it for yourself and your families when you are provided the option. The more people who get immunized, the safer our communities are for everyone.”
She also offered her thanks to those who made the vaccine possible.
“Saying thank you doesn’t begin to describe my gratitude for the physicians, scientists, public health experts, pharmacists and so many others who made this achievement in modern medicine possible. Our healthcare workers have been working tirelessly to save as many lives as possible, and this vaccine will only increase their ability to succeed,” she wrote.