According to their website, the Make-A-Wish Foundation consists of tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish® vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. Much of the work the foundation carries out, consisting of large gatherings and travel, has been dormant the last year as COVID-19 gripped the planet but according to a recent announcement, many of these wishes will soon resume — with a catch.
The CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Richard K. Davis has announced wishes involving air travel and large gatherings will begin in September — but only for vaccinated children.
“I’m excited to share that Make-A-Wish will resume granting air travel wishes within the United States and its territories as well as granting wishes involving large gatherings for vaccinated Wish families, as soon as Sept. 15, 2021,” Davis said, with critics calling the requirement “a new low for humanity.”
This is literally a new low for humanity. Terminally ill children will not be granted a wish.. from the make a wish foundation… unless.. you guessed it.. they’re fully vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/bjx1XMvLu6
— Pelham_3 (@Pelham_3) June 24, 2021
According to Davis, critically ill children and their families will need to be two weeks past completion of either a one-dose or a two-dose vaccine. While Make-a-Wish will not require proof of vaccination, Davis explained that parents will be required to sign a form confirming that they and their children are compliant with the policy.
“All Wish participants, including your Wish kid and any siblings, will need to be two weeks past completion of either a one dose or a two dose vaccine,” Davis continued. “While we won’t ask for proof of vaccination, we’ll ask for any adult participant to sign a letter of understanding that certifies that they, and any minors participating in the Wish, are vaccinated and understand the risk of traveling at this time.”
Naturally, the foundation has received backlash for such a requirement for multiple reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that the vaccine is only approved for children 12 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for use in individuals 12 years and older, bit the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 years and older.
What’s more, many of the children in the program are at extreme risk of complications from the vaccine and it is contraindicated for their conditions.
A Twitter user Dave Miller said his child is impacted by the move, declaring the policy a “Complete shame! Among many other issues my son has respiratory issues, and we have been advised not to get him vaccinated. Although he had has his Make-a-Wish, we would be devastated to find out that his wish would not be granted. I feel so bad for children who won’t get a wish.”
Davis made the callous and completely tone deaf announcement on Thursday, and by Sunday the organization had received so much backlash that it was forced to retract and clarify their stance.
On Sunday night, the foundation issued a statement saying that it now understands some of the children cannot get vaccinated due to their illness or age and it will no longer require them to be vaccinated to receive their wish.
“We understand that there are many families whose children aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who are choosing to not get the vaccine,” the group stated 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 get vaccinated to receive a wish.
“Any child fighting a critical illness is eligible for Make-a-Wish. While it does not reflect the majority of children we serve, we do occasionally serve children whose medical provider has determined that the child will not survive their illness. In time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis, a special process has been and will continue to be in place regardless of vaccination status.”
Illustrating the arbitrary nature of the policy shift, the foundation also stated that they have provided over 6,500 wishes to both vaccinated and unvaccinated children since the pandemic began — without any complications.