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Are New York Hospitals Refusing to Release Newborns to Unvaccinated Parents?
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Are New York Hospitals Refusing to Release Newborns to Unvaccinated Parents?


A widely shared Facebook post claims that New York hospitals are “refusing to release new born babies” to unvaccinated parents. Another viral Instagram post makes similar claims, saying that “NYU Langone and other hospitals in New York and Long Island” are not releasing babies from the NICU to unvaccinated parents.

This is a false claim. 

A representative from the New York State Department of Health stated in an email to the Dispatch Fact Check: “The New York State Department of Health is deeply disturbed by the grossly inaccurate messages being spread on social media regarding the false claim that there’s a prohibition on parents/guardians taking a baby home from the hospital based upon vaccination status.”

The spokesperson added: “[T]here is simply no truth to these claims. This is part of a larger dangerous misinformation campaign. This is why we continue to urge New Yorkers to please ignore the fiction and follow the science: COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective and are the best way to prevent serious illness.”

NYU Langone also addressed the false claim on Twitter earlier this week, saying,: “NYU Langone DOES NOT prohibit a parent/guardian from taking a child home from the NICU due to their vaccination status—we vehemently discourage the spread of this inaccurate, harmful information.”

NYU Langone also referred to the social media post as “false” and “completely unfounded.”

In an email to The Dispatch Fact Check, a pepresentative from NYU Langone added that “[N]o primary parent or guardian will be denied access to their newborn child at any point during their hospital stay or during the discharge process, regardless of vaccination status.”

NYU Langone’s policy, as of October 1 is as stated as follows: “In order to maintain a safe environment for everyone at each of our hospital locations, as of October 1, all visitors must present evidence of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of the visit.”

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.