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Chelsea Clinton did not say that every unvaccinated child in the U.S. should be forcibly vaccinated without parental consent.
Clinton spoke of the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s partnership with the World Health Organization and others in the "Big Catch-up," a global effort to restore childhood immunization progress lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are no forced vaccinations associated with the initiative, the WHO said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children worldwide missed out on one or more childhood immunizations, according to the World Health Organization.
Now, a global effort by WHO and others to make up for lost time is being misrepresented on social media.
A May 8 Instagram post shows a screenshot of a headline reading, "Chelsea Clinton: ‘It’s Time To Force-Jab Every Unvaccinated Child in America.’"
The screenshot also includes a tweet by the same person whose name is on the Instagram account, which asked "If the emergency is over, what is the big push to make every child risk dying suddenly?"
The Instagram post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The article is from a website called The People’s Voice. The site’s "about us" page previously said it was owned by News Punch LLC, though the page was updated May 9 and no longer mentions its ownership.
News Punch is known for spreading misinformation, including vaccine-related claims we’ve debunked before. It was formerly known as YourNewsWire, also known for sharing fake news. It was rebranded to circumventFacebook’s fact-checking program, Poynter wrote in 2019. Newspunch.com was redirecting to The People’s Voice as of May 9.
We found no evidence that Clinton said the words attributed to her in the headline, nor that she said that it’s the mRNA (COVID-19) vaccine that must be taken, as the story’s first line states.
The article took a real global initiative that Clinton is involved with and falsely portrayed it as a forced vaccination effort.
Clinton, through her family’s Clinton Health Access Initiative, is partnering with the World Health Organization on The Big Catch-Up, a global effort to boost regular childhood vaccines. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF are among many partners involved.
The WHO said in an April 24 news release that childhood vaccinations have declined during the pandemic because of overburdened health services, supply shortages and vaccine hesitancy. That has led to severe outbreaks of preventable diseases, such as measles, polio, diphtheria and yellow fever.
The Big Catch-up program will focus on the 20 countries where three quarters of the children who missed vaccinations in 2021 live, said WHO. The U.S. is not on that list.
The WHO’s news release does not mention COVID-19 vaccines and a separate WHO webpage about routine childhood immunization also does not include those vaccines.
A WHO spokesperson told PolitiFact there are no mandatory vaccines associated with the effort, though some countries require certain vaccines to attend school.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February added COVID-19 vaccines to its immunization schedule for children. It does not mandate the shots. Some states could require them for school students, but all 50 states have medical exemptions for vaccines and some have other exemptions, Politico reported.
Clinton did not mention forced vaccinations when she spoke April 25 about the initiative at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference.
She spoke about the recent lack of trust in vaccines and science and how the public and private sectors can help overcome that. She said no one should die of preventable diseases like measles and polio, "including in this country, where we also need people to be vaccinating their kids."
"In 2021 alone, more than 25 million kids under the age of 1 missed at least one routine immunization," Clinton said at the Fortune event, adding the goal is to "have the largest child immunization effort ever."
An Instagram post shared a headline claiming that Clinton said "It’s Time To Force-Jab Every Unvaccinated Child in America."
Clinton did not say that. And the Big Catch-up, a global childhood vaccine initiative the Clinton Health Access Initiative is partnering with, does not involve forced vaccination.
The claim is False.
Instagram post, May 8, 2023
Tweet, May 8, 2023
The People’s Voice, "Chelsea Clinton: ‘It’s Time To Force-Jab Every Unvaccinated Child in America’," archived May 5, 2023
The People’s Voice, "About us," archived April 23, 2023
World Health Organization, "Global partners announce a new effort – "The Big Catch-up" – to vaccinate millions of children and restore immunization progress lost during the pandemic," April 24, 2023
World Health Organization, "World Immunization Week 2023 The road to recovery: the Big Catch-up in action," accessed May 9, 2023
World Health Organization, "WHO recommendations for routine immunization - summary tables," accessed May 9, 2023
World Health Organization, email exchange, May 8, 2023
Unicef, "The State of the World’s Children 2023," accessed May 8, 2023
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule by Age," accessed May 9, 2023
Poynter, "Want to get away with posting fake news on Facebook? Just change your website domain.," Jan. 30, 2019
PolitiFact, "Bill Gates didn’t tweet about adding vaccines to food to solve vaccine hesitancy," Jan. 20, 2023
PolitiFact, "Don’t egg them on: Scientists found no link between eggs, sudden blood clots," Jan. 27, 2023
PolitiFact, "Latest fact checks of Yournewswire.com"
PolitiFact, "CDC committee’s vote did not make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for schoolchildren," Oct. 20, 2022
Politico, "CDC adds Covid-19 vaccinations to immunization schedules for children, adults," Feb. 9, 2023
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