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• The medical diagnosis code is not new and has been in use since 2015.
• There is no evidence the U.S. government plans to send unvaccinated people to education camps.
On a Facebook page for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates, an unidentified woman shared what sounds like a warning about new industry practices to promote vaccination.
In the viral video, the woman says a new medical diagnosis code has been designated for people who decline vaccines, and it will be used to help determine who will go into "education camps."
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.)
Despite the ominous tone of the post, the diagnosis code is not new and has been in use since 2015. There is also no evidence to support the claim that the government plans to send unvaccinated people to education camps.
The woman in the video gives the impression she is at her workplace reading aloud from an email. She says the correspondence is from "DOH and DHS," and while she does not specify what the initials stand for, they are common abbreviations for Department of Health and Department of Health Services, or Department of Homeland Security. The woman says she will not identify what state sent the information, other than to say it’s not Florida.
Reading from the purported email, she says the agencies will be using diagnosis code ICD-10 Z28.20 "for vaccine counseling that does not result in vaccination."
She explains that ICD-10 codes are used to track people through various medical data systems, including insurance and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and continues, "So for those of you who were wondering how they were going to find out who they need to put in those ... education camps and counseling camps, I think we just got our ...." Her answer trails off as she points to the screen with the email.
ICD-10 stands for International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. It’s a classification system "designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification and presentation of mortality statistics," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services mandated that the current set of codes, ICD-10, be used by healthcare providers, effective Oct. 1, 2015.
The code referenced in the Facebook video, Z28.20, is for "immunization not carried out because of patient decision for unspecified reason," according to ICD10Data.com. The website indicates that the Z28.20 code became effective on Oct. 1, 2015.
Other healthcare publications mention the code as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics published a 2016 report about "Codes to Capture Vaccine Refusal," and noted that the codes begin with category Z28.
The claim from the video about education and counseling camps appears to relate to an Oct. 24, 2021, appearance on Fox News by Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. During an interview, Chris Wallace asked Walensky whether the Biden administration is "still full speed ahead on mandates for essential workers to get vaccinated."
Walensky’s answer included this comment at the 8:05 mark in the exchange: "There is a plan should these people not want to be vaccinated towards education and counseling to get people the information they need so that they are feeling comfortable in getting vaccinated."
Her comment was misconstrued by websites known for spreading misinformation, such as NaturalNews.com, which published an Oct. 27 story with the headline, "CDC’s Walensky threatens cops who refuse covid shots, says they’ll be sent to reeducation camps."
Others, such as conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, also claimed that Walensky’s comments meant she wanted to send people to camps for reeducation.
A Facebook post claims that a new medical diagnosis code has been designated for people who decline vaccines, and it will be used to help determine who will go into "education camps."
The diagnosis code is not new and has been in use since 2015.
There is no evidence to support the claim that the government plans to send unvaccinated people to education camps. The claim misconstrues remarks by CDC Director Walensky, who said that vaccine-hesitant essential workers would be provided with education and counseling.
We rate this claim False.
American Academy of Pediatrics, "Codes to Capture Vaccine Refusal," Aug. 1, 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "International Classification of Diseases, (ICD-10-CM/PCS) Transition - Background," accessed Nov. 16, 2021
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "International Classification of Diseases,Ninth Revision (ICD-9)," accessed Nov. 16, 2021
Facebook post, Nov. 14, 2021
NaturalNews.com, "CDC’s Walensky threatens cops who refuse covid shots, says they’ll be sent to reeducation camps," Oct. 27, 2021
PolitiFact, "NaturalNews.com," accessed Nov. 16, 2021
Twitter post, Oct. 26, 2021
YouTube, "CDC greenlights ‘mix and match’ COVID boosters," Oct. 25, 2021
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