UPDATE: In an updated statement, the organization appears to have changed its policy. Their policy now reads: "Based on the guidance of these medical experts, Make-A-Wish plans to expand to also grant air travel wishes within the United States and its territories, as well as to grant wishes involving large gatherings for wish children and their families who have been vaccinated on September 15, 2021. 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. 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."
The original story, including the organization's original statement, follows.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation, the organization that creates "life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses," announced that the nonprofit will only grant wishes to terminally ill children and their participating family members if they are all vaccinated against COVID-19. The announcement was made by Make-a-Wish president and CEO Richard Davis in a video that went viral this week.
"We've approached this responsibility with a focus and diligence for your family's health and safety," Davis says.
"Now we've consulted with doctors and medical professionals throughout the National Medical Advisory Council," Davis says in the video. "We've been monitoring public health organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics."
Davis noted that based on the guidance of public health agencies, they 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 of 2021."
Make-a-Wish stopped granting wishes involving air travel at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
However, Davis said that the charity would require the critically ill children as well as any participants from the family to be two weeks past full vaccination in order to grant any wishes from the organization.
"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 says in the video.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation will not require proof of vaccination, but it will need all adults to sign a "letter of understanding that certifies that they and any minors participating in the wish are vaccinated and fully understand the risks of traveling at this time."
The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for anyone 12 years of age and older.
Healthline reports, "On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents as young as 12 years old."
The WHO website reads, "Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers."
"More evidence is needed on the use of the different COVID-19 vaccines in children to be able to make general recommendations on vaccinating children against COVID-19," the WHO states.
"WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) has concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above," the health agency's advisory states. "Children aged between 12 and 15 who are at high risk may be offered this vaccine alongside other priority groups for vaccination."
In the video clip, Davis doesn't appear to explain the protocol for critically ill children under the age of 12, who are not permitted to receive the coronavirus vaccine.