Hyderabad: Social media users are claiming that World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that COVID-19 vaccines are “being used to kill children.”
NewsMeter checked the WHO website for the transcript of the speech.
The transcript read, “It’s not because they are not boosted. That’s the reality. So, I think they should focus on something that should be focused on, that’s the issue. We had a meeting today and in the last few days. There is new evidence emerging now of its benefits, especially with elderly groups, senior citizens, especially above 65 and above 60. So, if it’s 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 it to give boosters to children, which is not right.”
It is at the last sentence of the provided transcript, that the WHO chief is heard saying ‘kill children’, but the transcript does not have the word kill in it.
“Then the equity issues come in here. Instead of boosting a child in high-income countries, it’s better to vaccinate the elderly in countries where the elders have not been vaccinated, even the primary vaccines. So, the equity issue should also come into play. I think this is the first one. The second on the prediction. It’s very difficult to predict, as you know. And we are facing another very hard winter. But we also believe that we can get through this with solidarity,” he said.
This part of the speech provides more context to the previous paragraph, and it is evident that the WHO chief was speaking on vaccine equity.
Further, the WHO spokesperson told the BBC, “He repeated the same syllable, with it coming out ‘cil-children.’ Any other interpretation of this is 100% incorrect.”
Ghebreyesus’s statements relative to this claim can be heard below in a clip from the briefing, posted to Twitter by BBC reporter Shayan Sardarizadeh.
Hence, the claim is false.