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WHO’s Speaker’s Statement, Put in a Wrong Context, is Disseminated Through Facebook

Verdict: MANIPULATION OF FACTS

Ketevan Gejadze, a Facebook user, published the 6 April 2021 statement of WHO Speaker, Margaret Harris, with an incomplete context. According to Ms Gejadze’s publication, the WHO speaker, Margaret Harris, does not support the immune passport requirement for travel since “it has not yet been proven whether or not being vaccinated stops the transmission of the virus!” In addition, the aforementioned publication contains false claims based on Ms Harris’ statement that vaccination destroys immunity. In particular, the publication says: “So, why are you getting vaccinated, are you rabbits or rats? Why do you kill yourselves and why do you destroy your immunity? Now this is me asking.”

Margaret Harris has indeed made a statement in regard to the introduction of COVID-passports. At a press briefing on 6 April 2021, she said that she does not support the introduction of the COVID-passport for the following reasons:

1. Currently, there is not enough data on whether or not being vaccinated prevents the transmission from one human to another human.

2. Currently, there are groups of people in some countries who have no access to the vaccine due to vaccine scarcity. In addition, there are categories who are not vaccinated in some countries. For instance, children under 18 or pregnant women.

As stated by Ms Harris, once more data will be available on the post-vaccine virus transmission and as the vaccine distribution becomes more equitable, the issue of COVID-passports will be important in the future.

Therefore, disinformation on Facebook distorts Ms Harris’ statement and makes the impression that the WHO speaker casts doubts on the efficacy of the vaccines.

WHO-authorised Vaccines and Their Efficacy

The vaccine’s effect on a vaccinated person is known. For instance, a 95% efficacy of a vaccine does not mean that five of 100 vaccinated people will still get the coronavirus. This figure (95%) is for a person and means that a vaccinated person has 95% protection from the virus. However, there is still a 5% chance that a vaccinated person catches the virus. In this case, the disease is much more mild and the infected person has the symptoms of a cold. A vaccinated person easily handles the virus and does not need hospitalisation. Despite their efficacy figures, all COVID-19 vaccines fully cope with their task of protecting people from infection. At the clinical trials of all of the vaccines, not a single case of hospitalisation was reported, let alone death.

The WHO representative, Margaret Harris, mentioned insufficient data in regard to the possibility of virus transmission from vaccinated people to others and not the vaccine’s efficacy. Currently, there is not enough data as to how the vaccine prevents a vaccinated person from being a virus carrier.

In addition, the claim that the vaccine is harmful for immunity is false. There are frequent instances of disinformation promoted in this regard. In fact, the aim of the vaccine is to develop immunity in humans instead of destroying it. Vaccination protects millions of people from severe diseases and ensuing lethality such as polio, measles, rubella, whooping-cough, tetanus, diphtheria, chicken-pox, mumps, rabies, hepatitis B, influenza, etc.

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This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.


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