Dying children will need to get the COVID-19 vaccine if their final wishes require air travel or involve large groups of people, according to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
The organization’s CEO Richard Davis announced that they would resume granting travel-related wishes to critically sick children and their families once they are two weeks past completion of a vaccine regimen. Make-A-Wish had previously suspended air travel and large gatherings due to the pandemic.
“We’ve approached this responsibility with a focus and diligence for your family’s health and safety,” Davis said in a Twitter video on Tuesday, noting that doctors on the National Medical Advisory Council were consulted about the decision. He also pointed out that parents will have to sign a waiver that their family has been fully vaccinated, but will not be required to provide proof.
The organization’s announcement was met with heavy online criticism for their exclusion of unvaccinated children, particularly because none of the coronavirus vaccines have been approved for use in children under twelve.
Comedian Rob Schnieder, who has been involved with Make-A-Wish, vowed to never to work with the charity again because of the vaccine requirement.
“Make-a-Wish will only grant wishes to terminally ill children who are fully vaccinated?!”
While it has been an honor to work with this foundation over the years,
if this policy of discrimination of children is true?
I will never work with them again.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) June 27, 2021
After the heavy backlash, the foundation was quick to point out that they would still be granting wishes to unvaccinated children, just not the kind that require travel.
“We understand that there are many families whose children aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who are choosing not to get the vaccine. We respect everyone’s freedom of choice,” a Make-A-Wish spokesperson commented. “Make-A-Wish will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children. Make-A-Wish will not require anyone to get vaccinated to receive a wish.”