FACT FOCUS: Posts mislead on nonprofit vaccine rules
Critics of vaccine requirements are misrepresenting policy changes taken by Make-A-Wish Foundation and a Ronald McDonald House Charities facility to protect the children and families they serve from coronavirus.
Both nonprofits have enforced COVID-19 vaccine rules in recent months, upsetting some families. Thousands of social media users are distorting those actions, falsely suggesting the Make-A-Wish Foundation refused to grant a wish to an unvaccinated cancer patient and that the Ronald McDonald House kicked unvaccinated families out of their facility and left them to fend for themselves.
Claims about sick children are particularly likely to capture attention and spread widely on social media, even if they aren't true, because they are emotional and contain a moral message, according to Lisa Fazio, a Vanderbilt University psychology professor who studies how false claims spread.
Meanwhile, the nonprofits say their policies are necessary to protect the families they serve from the risk of getting the coronavirus, which could jeopardize health outcomes for kids with critical illness.
Here's a look at two of the claims that have spread widely.
CLAIM: A Ronald McDonald House Charities facility in Vancouver, Canada, is evicting unvaccinated children and families.
THE FACTS: The facility, which provides housing for families with sick children who are getting medical care, says it’s working with unvaccinated families to find alternative housing as it implements a policy this month requiring vaccines for residents, workers and visitors. The policy allows medical and other case-by-case exemptions.
The claim took off online this week after an unvaccinated resident at the facility, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon, posted a video on his Facebook page on Jan. 11...