Fact Check: WHO Director-General Did NOT Say Countries Use COVID-19 Booster Shots To 'Kill Children'


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: WHO Director-General Did NOT Say Countries Use COVID-19 Booster Shots To 'Kill Children' Slip of Tongue

Did World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus say that countries are trying to "kill children" by giving them COVID-19 booster shots? No, that's not true: Tedros stumbled over the word "children," briefly uttering a syllable that sounded like "kill," while speaking at a press conference in 2021. He immediately corrected himself and continued with his presentation.

The claim appeared in a Hungarian-language video (archived here) on TikTok on April 2, 2023. The narrator opens with:

A year ago, the WHO's director-general said they are giving vaccine booster shots in order to kill children... and then they tried to deny the whole thing -- it was just a slip of the tongue, he said it by accident.

Here is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thur May 4 20:54:28 2023 UTC)

The video goes on to review statistics that purport to prove that vaccinated children have been dying in greater numbers, suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines are part of a plot to depopulate the planet. This fact-check focuses on the allegation that Tedros said vaccine boosters were killing off youngsters.

The claim has been circulating on social media since Tedros committed his verbal faux-pas at a press conference on December 21, 2021. Lead Stories originally debunked it on December 23, 2021, after receiving the following emailed statement from a WHO representative:

Dr Tedros's intended quote is: 'So, if it (the booster) is going to be used, it's better to focus on those groups who have the risk of severe disease and death, rather than, as we see, some countries are using to give boosters to children, which is not right.'

What occurred on Monday at the WHO press conference during his delivery of the word 'children' is that he got stuck on the first syllable 'chil' and it came out sounding like 'cil/kil.' He then correctly pronounced the same syllable immediately after, with it coming out audibly as 'cil-children'. Any other interpretation of this is 100% incorrect.

As you are aware, WHO strongly promotes the use of vaccines to protect people from COVID-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says children aged 6 months to 4 years may need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines in order to stay up-to-date against the virus, according to guidance updated on May 4, 2023.


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