Viral video misrepresents voluntary vaccine clinic outside Coeur d’Alene school

Canfield Middle School

CLAIM: A video shows U.S. government agents forcing students at an Idaho middle school to receive COVID-19 vaccines behind the building.

THE FACTS: An incendiary video circulating widely on social media this week weaponizes footage from a voluntary, health district-run vaccine clinic to push the false narrative that the U.S. military is forcibly vaccinating children.

“You’re about to see some disturbing footage,” the video’s narrator says over suspenseful music. “You’re going to see government agents escort children to their execution, to a little shed behind the school in secrecy. They pull these children out of class, they force them into getting the vaccine and they inject them in broad daylight.”

The narrator refers to immunizing children as a “genocide,” even though the FDA has declared that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and offers strong protection to children as young as 12. The narrator also claims the press wasn’t invited “to witness the lethal injection.”

As the narrator speaks, a video clip shows students milling in and out of a tent outside their school.

The Panhandle Health District arranged the voluntary vaccine clinic at Coeur d’Alene’s Canfield Middle School on May 28 to “reduce barriers individuals may have to receiving the vaccine” and “make it convenient for students and parents,” said Katherine Hoyer, public information officer for the health agency.

RELATED: Protest held over voluntary vaccine clinic outside of Canfield Middle School

It was one of several clinics held at local schools in the spring, according to Scott Maben, communications director for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. Maben confirmed that the event was “completely voluntary and with parent permission” and that it was organized by the Panhandle Health District, with the middle school as a venue.

Maben also explained there was no truth to claims that this or other vaccine clinics at local schools were hidden from the public.

“The health department announced these clinics publicly weeks in advance, and we shared the sign-up links and parental permission form with middle and high school parents,” Maben said. “A few weeks prior to this I invited local media to attend the first vaccination clinic at a high school.”

Members of the Idaho National Guard helped facilitate the clinics because they were deployed by Idaho Gov. Brad Little to assist local health districts with the COVID-19 response, which includes vaccination efforts, Hoyer said.

RELATED: Coeur d’Alene School District dropping most COVID-19 protocols heading into new school year