Fact Check: EU Chief Did NOT Ask Governments To Vaccinate All People By Any Means Necessary

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: EU Chief Did NOT Ask Governments To Vaccinate All People By Any Means Necessary No Proof

Did the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, hold a debate on September 13, 2023 and asked member states' politicians to do "everything it takes" to vaccinate all people, even by using coercion? No, that's not true: while von der Leyen did hold the annual State of the European Union address that day, she focused on her various term achievements, not on demanding higher vaccination rates in EU countries.

The claim originated from a video (archived here), posted on TikTok on September 14, 2023, with these captions:

The European Commission is asking governments to vaccinate the world at all costs, they want all of us dead. Red alert. Compulsory vaccination.

(All texts were translated from Romanian to English by the Lead Stories staff.)

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Leyen force vaccination.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Sep 22 10:22:11 2023 UTC)

The TikTok user posted a short montage featuring clips of von der Leyen (shared by the @womenofpower account, with no mention of vaccination) and stated that on the previous day, September 13, she held a debate with members of the EU Commission, discussing "how to vaccinate the world." He added:

They asked politicians to do everything it takes to vaccinate people and to vaccinate the Europeans by any means necessary. Including by using coercion, if needed.

The user offered no proof of such a debate or request.

The only official event featuring Von der Leyen on September 13 was the annual State of the European Union address. The verbatim report of this address can be found on the EU Parliament's website. During the event, she addressed the European Parliament rather than the Commission, highlighting her team's achievements as her first term as the Commission's leader comes to an end

Her speech focused on intra-European issues, summarizes Euractiv.com, discussing topics like the Green Deal and the European economy, Russia's war in Ukraine, the future expansion of the EU, and a possible treaty change.

The few mentions she did make on vaccination are in these two phrases that appear in the transcript of the proceedings:

We have set the building blocks for a Health Union, helping to vaccinate an entire continent and large parts of the world.

We agreed to buy vaccines at 27 [countries].

None of the official pages of Ursula von der Leyen's calendar, the EU Parliament's calendar, the EU Commission's daily news for September 13, 2023 and the EU Commission's documents register for that day, as well as any adjacent days, contain anything connected to von der Leyen and vaccination, be it COVID-related or otherwise. Futhermore, searches in Google News' index using "von der Leyen", "vaccination", "European Commission", and "governments" in various combinations returned no relevant results.

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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