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AP under fire for using photos of children in pain to report on vaccine approval

AP under fire for using photos of children in pain to report on vaccine approval
Children under the age of five still can’t get vaccinated yet in US

The Associated Press is under fire for using images of children in pain in its articles about youth Covid vaccinations, with critics arguing it creates vaccine hesitancy.

Media observers said the AP initially ran a story with such images on Monday in an article on how the Food and Drug Administration is moving closer to approving Covid vaccines for the youngest children.

“How about not using the saddest, scariest photos for this story?” wrote Lisa Tozzi of Rolling Stone on Wednesday on Twitter.

“The AP seems to default towards using photos of children being terrorized by the Covid vaccine,” Brian Ries of Twitter added.

The AP appears to have replaced the controversial photos with an image of syringes next to tie-dye print bandages.

独立 has contacted the news service for comment.

The original photos clearly struck a nerve and inspired a number of media watchers to weigh in on the best way to represent the Covid pandemic in journalism.

“Really weird photo choice,” wrote Stanford’s Sophia Jones. “I, on the other hand, will weep with joy when Gigi gets her first covid shot. Spent the night at the ER [因为] she has covid + bronchitis. This pandemic needs to END!”

“Why are we using photos of children screaming in pain alongside this article美联社?” wrote Shawna Marino of Covid testing company Detect. “Here is my son, 年龄 5, after his vaccine. Let’s start sharing pictures of kids being brave and happy and reverse the subtle bias in media coverage.”

Children under 5 are not yet eligible for Covid vaccination, though the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to recommend the jab for this group, signaling a likely emergency approval by the agency.

Children generally have less severe cases of the coronavirus, though the omicron wave sent the highest numbers of kids under 5 to the hospital of the whole pandemic.

“We have to be careful that we don’t become numb to the number of pediatric deaths because of the overwhelming number of older deaths. Every life is important,” Dr Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s vaccine division, told the advisory group during its meeting on Wednesday. “For those who have lost children to Covid-19, our hearts go out to them because each child that’s lost essentially fractures a family.”