FACT CHECK: Did The New Zealand Herald Report On Government Plans To Lace Water Supplies With COVID-19 Vaccines?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a New Zealand Herald article about the New Zealand government’s alleged plan to lace city water supplies with COVID-19 vaccines.

Verdict: False

There is no record of the New Zealand Herald publishing such an article. A spokesperson for the newspaper confirmed the story is fake.

Fact Check:

The Facebook image shows what appears to be a screenshot of a post from the New Zealand Herald’s verified Facebook account. “The emails between Government officials and multiple local councils appear to discuss the possibility of introducing the covid vaccine into city water supplies in areas where the vaccination rate haven’t reached 90%,” reads the caption of the alleged post, which also includes a link to a news article about the leaked emails.

However, there is no evidence the New Zealand Herald shared such a post or published such a news article. Check Your Fact searched the New Zealand Herald’s website as well as its verified InstagramFacebook and Twitter accounts, but found no record of the story. Murray Kirkness, an editor of the New Zealand Herald, told the Australian Associated Press the newspaper never published the alleged article.

There is likewise no truth to the claims made in the fake Facebook post. An internet search turned up no credible media reports about the alleged leaked emails or any government plan to lace water supplies with COVID-19 vaccines. There is also no mention of the plan on the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s website. (RELATED: Did New Zealand’s Government Tell A Public Broadcaster To Censor Anti-Government Comments On Its Social Media Platforms?)

A spokesperson for the Health Ministry told Check Your Fact in an email the claim was false. “We encourage people to only go to trusted sources of information when seeking to find out more about the virus and the vaccine,” added the spokesperson.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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