Fact Check: The European Union Is NOT Imposing A New Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: The European Union Is NOT Imposing A New Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Not Mandatory

Did the European Commission just enforce a vaccination campaign for a new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? No, that's not true: The European Commission recently authorized the adapted COVID-19 vaccine targeting subvariant Omicron XBB.1.5, developed by Pfizer. The vaccine is not mandatory, as this is not something that the EU can impose on independent EU member states.

The claim originated in a video by TikTok user @mtudorep (archived here), posted on September 2, 2023. The video claims:

Beginning this autumn, the European Commission will force all EU states to start another vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

(Translation from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff).

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

Screenshot 2023-09-12 at 10.10.35.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Sep 12 06:47:36 2023 UTC)

On September 1, 2023, the European Commission authorized the Comirnaty XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine, developed by BioNTech-Pfizer, targeting the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant of COVID-19, after its approval was recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The vaccine is licensed for adults, children, and infants over 6 months of age. According to previous recommendations from the EMA and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), adults and children older than 5 years who require vaccination should receive a single dose, regardless of their history of vaccination against COVID-19.

EC and EMA's official statements mention that the vaccine is approved for use by member states, at their discretion, in their autumn-winter vaccination campaigns, but there is no mention of member states being forced to vaccinate their citizens.

The EU cannot impose a vaccination mandate on member states. Vaccination campaigns fall within the competence of member states. The EMA statement about the updated vaccine clearly states: "As with other COVID-19 vaccines, national authorities in the EU Member States will determine how to use this vaccine in national vaccination campaigns, taking into account factors such as infection and hospitalization rates, the risk to vulnerable people and vaccine availability."

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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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