Tharman Shanmugaratnam Just Announced Global Vaccine Plan?!

Did unelected WEF official Tharman Shanmugaratnam just announce an urgent plan to vaccinate 60% of every country in the world?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Tharman Shanmugaratnam Just Announced Global Vaccine Plan!

People are sharing an article which claims that unelected WEF official Tharman Shanmugaratnam just announced an urgent plan to vaccinate 60% of every country in the world!

Circulating on WhatsApp :

BREAKING: Unelected WEF Official Announces URGENT Plan to VACCINATE 60% of EVERY COUNTRY in the World by 2024

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Tharman stressed the importance of vaccinating the world’s population.

Here is an excerpt from that article, which was published on 25 August 2023. Note the date – this will be important.

Unelected WEF official announces URGENT plan to VACCINATE 60% of EVERY COUNTRY in the world

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Truth : Tharman Shanmugaratnam Did Not Just Announce Global Vaccine Plan!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Are No Elections In WEF

I think it is best that I start by pointing out that the World Economic Forum (WEF) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and think tank.

What this means is that there is no requirement for its officials to be elected. So highlighting that an “unelected WEF official” said or did something is a red herring. It is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam was appointed to the WEF Board of Trustees in May 2019. Just because he was appointed, not elected, to the Board of Trustees does not make it nefarious. This is just how things are done at the WEF.

This is no different from how private, or even public-listed companies operate. They do not elect their CEO or officials or staff.

Fact #2 : Tharman Quote Was Two Years Old

It is unknown why the article claims that this is BREAKING news. The quote by Tharman Shanmugaratnam is 2 years old!

The source the article quoted was a 26 August 2021 article by CNA Lifestyle, titled Preparing for the next pandemic requires ‘new way of thinking about international cooperation’: Tharman.

Did the writer misread the date? That seems unlikely since the CNA article was dated 26 August 2021, while the viral article was posted on 25 August 2023.

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Fact #3 : Tharman Shanmugaratnam Resigned In 2023

Just to be clear – Tharman Shanmugaratnam was still a minister in the Singaporean government when he called for 60% of the world population to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That was stated clearly in the CNA article:

Global health security is “dangerously underfunded” and the World Health Organization (WHO) needs more support to deal with the next pandemic, which could come at any time, said Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday (Aug 25).

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam also did not retire as a Singaporean Minister. He resigned from all positions in the Singaporean government, as well as his membership in the People’s Action Party (PAP) on 7 July 2023, to run for the 2023 Singapore presidential election.

Fact #4 : Tharman Urged 60% Global Vaccination By 2022

Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam did not call for the vaccination of 60% of the world population by 2024. He actually called for that to happen by 2022.

Fact #5 : 60% Vaccination Plan Was Not By WEF

I should also point out that the WEF did not come up the plan to vaccinate 60% of the world’s population by 2022. As quoted in the CNA article, Mr. Tharman said that it was the action plan set out by the WHO, IMF and their multilateral partners:

The first and most urgent priority is to implement the action plan set out by the WHO, IMF and their multilateral partners to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of every country’s population over the next year [2022].

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Fact #6 : Over 70% Vaccinated By March 2023

It is also absurd to panic over the (false) claim that Mr. Tharman wanted to vaccinated 60% of the world’s population by 2024, because that target was already achieved!

As of March 13, 2023, more than 5.55 billion people across the world received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In other words, 72.3% of the world’s population had already received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

That’s why when I was first asked to fact check this article, I was puzzled. That 60% target was already surpassed!

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

Don’t forget to protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating against COVID-19!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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