“The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION just lately reversed its stance on kids getting the Covid vaccine.”
Instagram submit, June 22, 2021
A social media submit circulating on Fb and Instagram claims that the World Well being Group just lately flipped its coverage suggestion about kids receiving a covid-19 vaccine.
“The WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION just lately reversed its stance on kids getting the Covid vaccine. Sorry to all these dumb dad and mom who rushed out to get their 12 yr olds vaccinated. Oops you injected your children with poison and it’s now not beneficial. Personally nobody ought to however not less than save the kids!,” the submit reads.
A photograph posted alongside the caption is a screenshot from the World Well being Group’s web site, with the phrases circled in purple: “Youngsters shouldn’t be vaccinated for the second.”
The display seize additionally reveals the next paragraph with the phrases underlined in purple: “There’s not but sufficient proof on using vaccines in opposition to COVID-19 in kids to make suggestions for kids to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.”
The submit was flagged as a part of Fb’s efforts to fight false information and misinformation on its information feed. (Learn extra about PolitiFact’s partnership with Fb.)
Others have been spreading related messages on social media about this alleged change within the WHO’s stance on covid vaccines for kids, together with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The subject additionally dominated vaccine-related Google searches on June 22, in accordance with Google Traits information.
Mining the Webpage
The display seize posted on Instagram was certainly taken straight from the WHO’s webpage and the textual content had not been altered. The aim of that particular webpage is to present the general public recommendation on who ought to obtain a covid vaccine.
The webpage said, “Youngsters shouldn’t be vaccinated for the second.”
Nevertheless, this was not new steering from the WHO. The group first posted this steering on April 8, in accordance with our evaluation of the webpage via the Wayback Machine, an web archive service, and First Draft, a nonprofit group that analyzes misinformation on the net.
Once we reached out to the WHO on June 22 to ask officers in regards to the webpage’s wording and whether or not they had reversed their stance, a spokesperson despatched the next assertion:
“Youngsters and adolescents are inclined to have milder illness in comparison with adults, so except they’re a part of a gaggle at larger danger of extreme COVID-19, it’s much less pressing to vaccinate them than older individuals, these with persistent well being situations and well being staff.
“Extra proof is required on using the completely different COVID-19 vaccines in kids to have the ability to make normal suggestions on vaccinating kids in opposition to COVID-19.
“WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Specialists (SAGE) has concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is appropriate to be used by individuals aged 12 years and above. Youngsters aged between 12 and 15 who’re at excessive danger could also be supplied this vaccine alongside different precedence teams. Vaccine trials for kids are ongoing and WHO will replace its suggestions when the proof or epidemiological state of affairs warrants a change in coverage.
“It’s necessary for kids to proceed to have the beneficial childhood vaccines.”
The WHO up to date its webpage June 23, changing the language “kids shouldn’t be vaccinated for the second” with the exact language despatched within the assertion above.
Jen Kates, director of world well being and HIV coverage at KFF, stated she reached out to a WHO contact who advised her this up to date language was added to replicate the newest recommendation from the WHO’s June 15 assembly of the Strategic Advisory Group of Specialists, which stated the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might be given to these age 12 and older.
The WHO’s Stance
The WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, defined in a June 11 video why the WHO was not prioritizing covid vaccines for kids.
“So, the explanation that right this moment, in June 2021, WHO is saying that vaccinating kids shouldn’t be a precedence is as a result of kids, although they will get contaminated with covid-19 and so they can transmit the an infection to others, they’re at a lot decrease danger of getting extreme illness in comparison with older adults,” Swaminathan stated. “And that’s the reason, after we began prioritizing individuals who ought to get the vaccination when there are restricted provides of vaccines obtainable within the nation, we suggest that we begin with well being care staff and front-line staff who’re at very excessive danger of publicity to the an infection. Additionally aged, the individuals who have underlying sicknesses that make them at excessive danger to develop extreme illness.”
Dr. Rachel Vreeman, director of the Arnhold Institute for International Well being on the Icahn College of Medication at Mount Sinai Hospital, confirmed that the statements on the WHO’s webpage have been targeted on whom to prioritize most urgently in getting covid vaccines.
“They aren’t saying that kids shouldn’t be vaccinated in opposition to COVID or that the vaccines at present permitted to be used in kids 12 years previous and above will not be secure,” Vreeman wrote in an electronic mail. “The WHO is saying that the worldwide precedence must be on getting extra adults vaccinated, since older adults are on the highest danger of significant problems and loss of life from COVID-19.”
“Within the face of large inequities in who has entry to COVID-19 vaccines globally, the WHO advises that these at highest danger — older adults — be prioritized first,” Vreeman wrote.
Suggestions of Covid Vaccines for Youngsters within the U.S.
It’s additionally necessary to contemplate that provides of the covid vaccines are now not restricted within the U.S., as they’re in different elements of the world. So, having to ration the vaccine for less than well being care staff or those that are older or at larger danger for extreme illness doesn’t apply right here. Bear in mind, the WHO is a worldwide group, so its suggestions should be relevant worldwide.
Within the U.S., the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends that everybody age 12 and over obtain a covid vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for emergency use within the U.S. in kids ages 12 to 18 and adults of all ages.
The American Academy of Pediatrics additionally recommends that kids 12 and up obtain a covid vaccine.
So does Vreeman, who’s a pediatrician.
“As a pediatrician in the USA, in a setting the place the COVID-19 vaccine is broadly obtainable, I whole-heartedly suggest that kids 12 years previous and up obtain the COVID-19 vaccination as quickly as attainable,” Vreeman wrote in an electronic mail. “The information present that the vaccines are secure and efficient for this age group, and we need to forestall the dangers that COVID-19 does current to kids.”
An Instagram submit and different posts throughout social media falsely claimed that the WHO just lately reversed its stance on kids receiving a covid vaccine as a result of the vaccines have been “poison” and could be harmful for kids.
The WHO first posted its steering for kids and covid vaccinations on April 8. That steering did embody the wording, “Youngsters shouldn’t be vaccinated for the second.” However that wording was a mirrored image of the WHO saying that kids shouldn’t be prioritized for vaccinations over different teams as a result of in lots of nations provides of vaccine are restricted and well being care staff, front-line staff, the aged and people with high-risk medical situations ought to have first dibs.
There’s no proof the WHO “reversed” its place on childhood covid vaccination in the best way the viral social media posts allege. The WHO up to date its steering on June 23 to replicate a gathering of one among its scientific advisory teams, which stated the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine may very well be safely given to kids 12 and up. However this got here after these deceptive posts first appeared.
We price this declare False.
American Academy for Pediatrics, “AAP, CDC Advocate COVID-19 Vaccine for Ages 12 and Older,” Might 12, 2021
Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, “COVID-19 Vaccines for Youngsters and Teenagers,” up to date Might 27, 2021
Electronic mail interview with Dr. Rachel Vreeman, director of the Arnhold Institute for International Well being on the Icahn College of Medication at Mount Sinai, June 22, 2021
Electronic mail interview with Jen Kates, director of world well being and HIV coverage at KFF, June 22, 2021
Electronic mail change with World Well being Group Media Relations, June 22, 2021
First Draft Information, “Deceptive Info About Vaccinating Youngsters Is Linked to Previous WHO Recommendation,” June 23, 2021
Google Traits, “World Well being Group COVID Vaccine,” accessed June 23, 2021
Twitter, Marjorie Taylor Greene status, June 22, 2021
Wayback Machine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Twitter standing, June 22, 2021, accessed June 23, 2021
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Wayback Machine, World Well being Group — “COVID-19 Recommendation for the Public: Getting Vaccinated, June 22, 2021,” accessed June 23, 2021
Wayback Machine, World Well being Group — “COVID-19 Recommendation for the Public: Getting Vaccinated,” June 23, 2021, accessed June 23, 2021
World Well being Group, “COVID-19 Recommendation for the Public: Getting Vaccinated,” accessed June 23, 2021
World Well being Group, “Interim Suggestions for Use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, BNT162b2, Underneath Emergency Use Itemizing,” June 15, 2021
World Well being Group, “Science in 5 — Episode #42 — Vaccines and Youngsters,” June 11, 2021