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Fact Check-Baby in TikTok clip was born before COVID-19 vaccinations

A viral TikTok showing a newborn holding their head straight has been miscaptioned online, with users claiming it shows a baby who is unwell because it was born of a mother who was vaccinated against COVID-19. The mother told Reuters her baby was healthy and born before she received her COVID-19 inoculation.

“Babies are being born with all black eyes, they belong to Mothers who got the jab,” part of a Facebook post sharing the video reads. “Don’t let the government mutate your genes and your DNA,” another user wrote.

Iterations with screenshots of the clip are viewable here , here , and here .

The original video was uploaded on TikTok on July 23, 2021 ( bit.ly/3maYF9D ). According to the description, the footage shows a 2-days-old baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) “less than 2 Kg can hold her head up and look at me,” she wrote. The post also includes the hashtags “#pandemicbaby2020” and “#toughbaby”

Reuters contacted the user @larasaadeddine1, author of the clip and mother of the baby, who said the video was captured in August 2020, months before vaccination efforts started – in December 2020 -- in the United States, where she is located ( here ).

“I didn’t take the vaccine while I was pregnant because it wasn’t available for me at that time, but I did take it a few months [later],” she told Reuters via Facebook message. “My baby is a very healthy baby,” she assured.

Footage of her twin babies is visible in her social media pages since at least November 2020.

Based on a limited but growing amount of evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 immunization for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or might become pregnant in the future. ( here )

The Mayo Clinic explains ( here ) that pregnant women or those who have recently been pregnant, have a higher risk of suffering a severe disease if infected with SARS-CoV-2. They are also more likely to experience preterm birth and more associated to pregancy lost, the CDC says ( here ).

Reuters has repeatedly debunked false claims about the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy ( here , here , here ).

Contrary to what some posts claim, the COVID-19 vaccine does not modify the DNA of its recipient as previously explained by Reuters ( here , here , here ).

Reuters previously addressed this same video which also circulated on social media in Spanish here

VERDICT

False. Video does not show the baby of a vaccinated woman. The CDC recommends immunization for pregnant women.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .  

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