Fact Check: WHO's Tedros Is NOT Unvaccinated As Of September 2023 -- He Was Vaccinated In May 2021

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: WHO's Tedros Is NOT Unvaccinated As Of September 2023 -- He Was Vaccinated In May 2021 Out Of Context

Did World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus admit that he's unvaccinated for COVID-19 as of September 12, 2023? No, that's not true: A clip of Tedros explaining his delayed vaccination was misrepresented. He received COVID vaccination in May 2021, much earlier than the claim indicated.

The claim was implied in a post (archived here) by the official account of Stew Peters, a podcaster who regularly spreads COVID misinformation, on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on September 12, 2023. The post included a video of Tedros speaking with an interviewer about his vaccination status. The post's caption read:

Head of World Health Organization admits he's unvaccinated.

This is how the post looked on X at the time of writing:

tedros ghebreyesus not vaccinated X post .png
(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Sep 13 17:28:48 2023 UTC)

The post does not provide the necessary context for users to understand Tedros' vaccination status as of September 12, 2023, the day the post was published. The clip was taken from an interview with Tedros conducted on June 12, 2021, by Jon Cohen, a writer for the publication Science.

In the clip included in the post on X, Tedros, who is from eastern Africa, says he waited to get vaccinated because he was protesting the delay of COVID vaccination for people living in Africa and "other countries in other regions, low-income countries." The clip originated from footage of the interview that appears in the HBO Originals documentary "How to Survive a Pandemic." A transcript of the interview reveals that Tedros said he was vaccinated on "May 12."

Evidence of Tedros' vaccination on May 12, 2021, can be found on his official account on the X platform. In a post (archived here) that day, there is an image of Tedros receiving a dose of a COVID vaccine.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to Tedros can be found here.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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