Do the Girl Scouts Have an ‘I Was Vaccinated’ Patch?

As of October 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine had not been approved for children under the age of 12.

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Claim

A photograph shows an official "I Was Vaccinated" Girl Scouts patch that a child can receive for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Origin

In October 2021, we started receiving queries about a photograph that supposedly showed a child wearing a Girl Scouts vest adorned with an “I Was Vaccinated” patch. 

This photograph is genuine. But the patch comes from a third-party seller — not the Girl Scouts. 

The photograph was originally published by The New York Times in September 2021 in an article about parents who had enrolled their children in a COVID-19 vaccine trial program. The New York Times profiled a number of families, including the Macklom family, who successfully had their children vaccinated against COVID-19 via Pfizer’s vaccine trial program. 

Jennifer Macklom of Cedar Park, Texas, was determined to get her three daughters enrolled in a trial. Haunting her were the memories of 2016, when her daughter Miriam had grown sick with an adenovirus at age 2 ½. Simultaneously, her daughter Naomi, who was only 6 weeks old at the time, contracted a form of the coronavirus that pre-dated Covid … 

So, with the advent of the pandemic, she conferred with her pediatrician, and all three children landed on a waiting list for a vaccine trial. Miriam is now 8, Naomi, 5, and Ruth, 2. … 

Five months passed. Then the phone rang, and Ms. Macklom learned that her daughters were at the top of the list to receive the Pfizer vaccine at a branch of Austin Regional Clinic, in central Texas.

The New York Times included a few photographs of the Macklom family, including one that showed 5-year-old Naomi with an “I Was Vaccinated” patch on her Girl Scouts vest. 

Again, this is not an official Girl Scouts patch. This patch is not featured in the Girl Scouts list of official patches. A spokesperson for the Girl Scouts told us:

The “I was vaccinated” patch is not an official Girl Scout badge. This is an unofficial patch created by a third-party vendor.”

The only COVID-19 / vaccine / pandemic related patch available via the Girl Scouts is a patch that reads “Together Again 2021”:

The “I Was Vaccinated” patch is available via Advantage Emblem, a screen printing company. 

It should also be noted that most children still can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. As of this writing in October 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is available for children aged 12 and older. 

Sources:

CDC. “COVID-19 Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Feb. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html.

Schoch, Deborah. “Parents of Young Children Desperately Seek Vaccine Trials.” The New York Times, 11 Sept. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/children-covid-vaccine-trials.html.

Official Girl Scout Badges & Program Materials for All Grade Levels | Girl Scout Shop. https://www.girlscoutshop.com/badges-program. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.