Truth or Fake

This video of people with disabilities being "forcibly" vaccinated doesn't tell the whole story

This video doesn't show American people being vaccinated against their will, as they received the vaccine at home with the consent of their legal guardians.
This video doesn't show American people being vaccinated against their will, as they received the vaccine at home with the consent of their legal guardians. © Observers

A video of people with disabilities in the US receiving the Covid-19 vaccine has been shared widely on social media in several countries. The description for the video says that they were forced to get the vaccine by police in Los Angeles. But is that what's really happening?

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Since governments across the world started to dole out Covid-19 vaccines, the tricky issue of consent has been at the forefront of discussions. Can you or should you force someone to get the vaccine - even if it's for their own good?

Posts shared across social media claim that the sheriff's department in Los Angeles County in California has been deliberately taking advantage of the weaknesses of disabled people to vaccinate them without their consent. 

That claim was posted alongside the same video, which has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on Telegram. It consists of a compilation of three extracts from a longer video, carefully chosen to support the poster's agenda. 

We found the original video. The longer version shows Operation Homebound, a campaign led by LASD to offer the vaccine to consenting people with disabilities. The operation used the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose, making it particularly suitable for vulnerable people who may find it more difficult to deal with the administration and waiting that getting vaccinated implies. 

When we asked the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department about the video, we received this response from John Satterfield, a captain at the department:

"Vaccines were not forced on anyone and each recipient provided signed informed consent, or signed informed consent was provided by their legal guardian in cases where developmental disability legally prevented the ability of the individual to provide informed consent. The context left out of these ridiculous claims and allegations would be the unquestionable thanks and appreciation we have received from the families of each and every individual, thanking us for bringing this life saving vaccine to their home and providing it to their loved ones at no cost or inconvenience. It is a shame those who wish to make political statements by providing misinformation have chosen to disparage the good works being done with Operation Homebound."

To see more of our video debunking work, head to our Truth or Fake section