Make-A-Wish Says It's Not Denying Unvaccinated Children

Edited video inspires criticism online
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2021 7:25 PM CDT
Make-A-Wish Says It's Not Denying Unvaccinated Children
A girl holds a sign while waiting for her cousin to arrive for a surprise Make-A-Wish announcement in Rogers, Ark., in 2019.   (Ben Goff/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is disputing what it calls a misinformation campaign about whether children who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 will be eligible to have their wishes granted. The foundation says these children are in fact still eligible, the AP reports. An edited video of Make-A-Wish Foundation CEO Richard Davis that went viral on social media over the weekend caused a stir by seeming to suggest that only vaccinated children would be eligible to have wishes granted. Stars like actor Rob Schneider and numerous donors declared that if the foundation had decided not to grant wishes to unvaccinated children, they would no longer support it. The confusion arose from the fact that the video clip that went viral cuts off before Davis finishes his explanation in the 2-minute, 22-second video about which children would be eligible. The COVID-19 outbreak led Make-A-Wish to postpone granting some wishes—for all children, vaccinated for not—that might put them at risk.

The video, emailed on June 9, was meant to inform families of Make-A-Wish children and volunteers that certain types of wishes, including those involving air travel or large crowds, would resume being granted again in September and that planning to fulfill them could begin. But certain wishes for unvaccinated children now deemed to be risky will be on hold until medical guidance changes. "We respect everyone's freedom of choice," Davis says in the full video, in which he acknowledges that some children may be too young or too ill to be vaccinated. "We can't wait until Sept. 15, when we can expand the types of life-changing wishes we can grant." To clarify, the foundation issued a simpler statement: "Make-A-Wish has not, does not and will not deny wishes to children who are not vaccinated. ... Make-A-Wish will continue to grant wishes to children who are not vaccinated." Since the beginning of the pandemic, the foundation has granted over 6,500 wishes to children and their families, regardless of vaccination status.

(More make-a-wish stories.)

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