The Make-a-Wish Foundation has made thousands of dreams come true for terminally ill children over the past decades. But over the past two days, the group of benefactors have come under fire for asking children looking for a big wish to get the COVID shot.
Sunday, the foundation reversed its course.
The foundation released a statement Sunday evening saying it understands that many wish-seeking children cannot be vaccinated due to their illness, and that Make-a-Wish will no longer require these children to be vaccinated against the disease. coronavirus COVID-19.
“We understand that there are many families whose children are not yet eligible for the vaccine, and we also know that there are families who choose not to be vaccinated,” the group said on its website. . “We respect everyone’s freedom of choice. Make-a-Wish will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children. Make-a-Wish will not require anyone to be vaccinated in order to receive a wish.
“Any child with a serious illness is eligible for Make-a-Wish. While this does not reflect the majority of the children we serve, we occasionally serve children whose doctor has determined that the child will not survive their illness. sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis, a special process has been and will continue to be in place regardless of vaccination status. “
The foundation added that it had granted more than 6,500 wishes for children and families since the start of the global pandemic in early 2020 (vaccines were not available until later in the year).
A few days ago, the foundation said it could not grant wishes for children with high wishes if they did not meet the criteria for vaccination.
“Now we have consulted with physicians and health care professionals on the National Medical Advisory Board,” Make-a-Wish Foundation CEO Richard Davis said last week. “We monitor public health organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. “
Davis said the foundation will continue to grant wishes, including airline tickets and overnight stays, to those who have completed their vaccinations, whether it is one dose or two doses. He said they would not require people to show proof of vaccination. He still said:
“All participants in the wish, including your wish child and siblings, will need to have completed two weeks after completing a one-dose or two-dose vaccine.”
The foundation, in its statement on Sunday, said it hopes to continue granting the wishes of terminally ill children.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Make-A-Wish has safely granted more than 6,500 wishes to children and families, including those who are not vaccinated and vaccinated. We are currently granting and continuing to grant a wide variety of wishes such as national park trips, virtual celebrity gatherings, outdoor game rooms, shopping sprees, stays, pet wishes, computers, room redecorations and more. many others.”