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Fact check: Quote about COVID-19 vaccine in care homes taken out of context

Social media users have been sharing a meme about the COVID-19 vaccine that includes a quote about care home recipients that has been taken out of context.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The post was uploaded on Dec. 8 (here) and includes an image of an ill, elderly person with a comment attributed to Dr Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition: “One of the things we want to make sure people understand is that they should not be unnecessarily alarmed if there are reports, once we start vaccinating, of someone or multiple people dying within a day or two of their vaccination who are residents of a long-term care facility.”

Some interpreted the meme as evidence the COVID-19 vaccine would harm elderly people, leaving comments such as: “They wanted rid of us OAPs before the virus started. !!! No vaccination for me and mine !!” and “Murder! Clear and simple!”.

The quote is missing crucial context. Moore was explaining how deaths among care home residents who had received the vaccine could be unrelated to their immunisation.

The comment was first published on Dec. 4 as part of a CNN story analyzing a vote held by doctors at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over whether long-term care residents would be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (here).

Explaining the debate about whether frail adults in care should be vaccinated, Moore told CNN: “Americans need to understand that deaths may occur that won’t necessarily have anything to do with the vaccine.”

She then gave the quote included in the meme: “One of the things we want to make sure people understand is that they should not be unnecessarily alarmed if there are reports, once we start vaccinating, of someone or multiple people dying within a day or two of their vaccination who are residents of a long-term care facility.”

The quote ended here in the meme, but Moore went on to say: “That would be something we would expect, as a normal occurrence, because people die frequently in nursing homes.” This additional comment makes Moore’s meaning clear: deaths unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine can be expected in long-term care patients.

The Immunization Action Coalition is supporting frontline workers who will administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

VERDICT

Misleading due to missing context. This quote does not capture the point made by the speaker. The doctor was explaining that deaths among nursing home residents occur frequently and may have nothing to do with them being vaccinated against COVID-19.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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