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Altered photo falsely claims vaccine site urged parents to donate kids’ organs

November 9, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: A photo circulating on social media shows a banner advertising on-site COVID-19 vaccinations with text that states, “DON’T FORGET TO DONATE YOUR CHILDRENS ORGANS.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered photo. The photo was manipulated to include the line about donating children’s organs, according to a representative with the Boston-based healthcare nonprofit Mass General Brigham, which supported the event. The original photo of the banner can also be found online in an archived version of the New England Patriots’ website.

THE FACTS: The altered photo circulated widely on social media on Sunday and Monday with a red circle around the false claim about organs and the word “What?” pointing toward it. The photo was viewed thousands of times across social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook.

The original photo, which was posted July 31, 2021, on the Patriots’ website, shows the banner at a mobile vaccination clinic stationed outside of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The banner read, “COVID Vaccines Here” and “NO Appointment Needed,” in English with a Spanish translation below.

In the altered photo, the portion of the banner in Spanish,” was changed to English text urging parents to “donate” their children’s organs.

McKenzie Ridings, spokesperson for Massachusetts General Hospital, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the photo circulating online had altered the words on the banner.

“This is a doctored photo of one of our mobile vaccine clinics,” Ridings wrote.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.