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A lab technician works at a Johnson & Johnson lab in Belgium that is working on potential vaccines for COVID-19, June 17, 2020. (AP) A lab technician works at a Johnson & Johnson lab in Belgium that is working on potential vaccines for COVID-19, June 17, 2020. (AP)

A lab technician works at a Johnson & Johnson lab in Belgium that is working on potential vaccines for COVID-19, June 17, 2020. (AP)

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek July 1, 2020

No, the coronavirus vaccines in development haven’t killed children

If Your Time is short

• There is no evidence that children have died because of a COVID-19 vaccine.

• No vaccine currently in development has been approved for widespread public use.

• There is no evidence the vaccines in development will contain microchips.

There’s still no proven, publicly available vaccine for the coronavirus, but misinformation about it is already coursing through the internet.

One recent Facebook post shares an image containing inflammatory claims about a coronavirus vaccine that might one day be available to the public.

"The covid-19 vaccine will be mandatory in order to go back too school. They will contain RFID Chips," the image in the post reads. It continues: "Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The claims in the post are speculative and misleading in a number of ways, and have been debunked by another fact-checking organization.

COVID-19 has killed more than half a million people worldwide, including nearly 130,000 in the U.S. Companies around the world are scrambling to develop a vaccine, and many potential vaccines are undergoing safety trials in humans. 

Health officials are struggling to reassure some skeptics that a vaccine can be developed quickly without compromising safety.

As of June 30, only one coronavirus vaccine had been approved for limited use. The Chinese government has approved it only for military personnel

Currently there is no coronavirus vaccine that has been approved for the American public. And there is no evidence that children have died because they received one of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed.

Featured Fact-check

In April, PolitiFact investigated a claim that seven children in Senegal died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines and discovered the Facebook post’s claim was false

In May, Reuters also reported that social media posts were incorrect in claiming that a TV news report from 2019 showed the deadly results of a COVID-19 vaccination trial in Guinea. 

PolitiFact found no evidence that anyone has died from complications related to a trial COVID-19 vaccination.

PolitiFact has also debunked several false claims involving the coronavirus vaccine and microchips. The U.S. isn’t developing an "antivirus" for COVID-19 that will include an RFID chip, for example. There’s also no evidence that Democrats are pushing for mandatory vaccinations or microchip implants to fight the coronavirus.

And there is no evidence yet of any requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to school, though some states could require it if a vaccine becomes available. 

State laws govern immunization requirements for schoolchildren, including those in private schools and daycare centers, but all states allow exemptions for medical reasons, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some allow exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons.

Our ruling

A viral image on Facebook claimed, "Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately." 

There is no evidence that children have died because of the coronavirus vaccines in development, or that a future vaccine will contain microchips.

We rate this claim False.

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No, the coronavirus vaccines in development haven’t killed children

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