Misinformation that was spread claimed that Make-A-Wish Foundation was only going to give vaccinated children wishes, which originated from an edited video clip that went viral cut off before Davis could finish his explanation.
The full 2 minute, 22-second YouTube video from the CEO of Make-A-Wish, Richard Davis, talks about their vaccination policy. In the video, emailed on June 9, Davis says “We respect everyone’s freedom of choice,” and acknowledges that some children cannot be vaccinated. Wishes that involve large crowds or air travel will be delayed until September, and wishes for unvaccinated children that are deemed too risky will be delayed further until medical guidance changes.
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“We can’t wait until Sept. 15, when we can expand the types of life-changing wishes we can grant,” Davis says. Planning for the events are able to begin, though. In order to clarify, “misinformation and falsehoods on social media and in some media outlets,” the foundation issued a simpler statement saying, “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.”
The foundation said it expected some backlash about its decision to delay some wishes. They made the choice because it “focused on listening to medical experts and doing what was right and in the best interest of the health and safety of all our wish families.” Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation granted over 6,500 wishes to children and their families regardless of vaccination status.
The foundation also says it continues to work with Make-A-Wish kids to reimagine their wishes, and any child fighting a critical illness is eligible for a wish. A child’s vaccination status will not be taken into account “in time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis,” where a special process will be used to fulfill their wish, as well. Before the foundation clarified itself, stars like Rob Schneider and numerous donors declared that if Make-A-Wish decides to not grant wishes to unvaccinated children, they would no longer support it.