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The claim: Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik 'refuses to vaccinate'
Mayim Bialik is best known as an actress on the television show "The Big Bang Theory," in which she plays a neurobiologist in a role that nearly mirrors her real-life doctorate in neuroscience.
A post shared on Facebook, though, is using Bialik’s credentials alongside the false assertion that she “refuses to vaccinate” to support the conclusion that parents shouldn’t vaccinate their children.
The July 14 post was shared to the account’s more than 1 million followers. But it’s wrong.
Bialik clarified her position on vaccines in October 2020, saying then that while she had not followed a traditional vaccination schedule for her two sons, they have been vaccinated.
Bialik also said that her sons would be getting flu shots and that she would be getting vaccines against the flu and COVID-19.
The Facebook account that shared the July 14 post does not accept messages, and it does not list a contact for any person who manages it.
Bialik clarifies stance on vaccines
She was deemed an “anti-vaxxer” after the book came out, said Bialik, who has a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA.
The Facebook post lists Bialik’s degree alongside the claim that she “refuses to vaccinate.” That isn't true. In fact, Bialik and her sons have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Heather Besignano, a spokeswoman for Bialik, said in an email.
“I have never, not once, said that vaccines are not valuable, not useful or not necessary, because they are,” Bialik said in the YouTube video.
“As of today, my children may not have had every one of the vaccinations that your children have had, but my children are vaccinated,” she said. “I repeat: My children are vaccinated.”
At the time, Bialik said her children would be getting the flu shot as the flu season approached. She also planned to get the flu shot herself and to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I want my immune system to have the best chance to fight anything that comes its way, and that includes COVID,” she said.
Those vaccines are the first for Bialik in about 30 years, she said. In an interview in January with Yahoo News, Bialik said her decision was “based on kind of the basic science of what’s going on in the world and how we protect ourselves.”
While Bialik said in her YouTube video that she believes children in the U.S. receive too many vaccines, she said she does not subscribe to conspiracy theories about the severity of the coronavirus or believe all vaccines should be avoided.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and peer-reviewed studies have said the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
More than 334 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the U.S. as of July 12. During that time, the CDC has received about 6,000 reports of people who died after receiving the vaccine, but anyone is able to make such a report, so that does not mean the vaccine caused the deaths.
Our rating: False
The claim that Bialik "refuses to vaccinate" is FALSE, based on our research. Bialik clarified in an October 2020 YouTube video that while she delayed vaccines for her two sons, they both have received vaccines. Bialik and her sons have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Bialik's spokeswoman says.
Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Big Bang Theory actor Mayim Bialik doesn't refuse vaccine