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:
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.