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Rapper Nicki Minaj is seen leaving the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2020, in New York City. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Nicki Minaj questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine this week on Twitter, prompting an offer from the White House for a call with a doctor to discuss the safety of the vaccine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday.

Driving the news: Minaj on Monday wrote on Twitter that she would not attend the Met Gala because she had not received the COVID vaccine, which was a requirement to attend the event.

  • "They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t for the Met," Minaj wrote in the tweet.
  • Minaj then drew widespread attention over a subsequent tweet that included false information about the side effects of the vaccine, writing that her "cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent."
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that "there’s no evidence that [male fertility problems] happen, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen."

Following the internet uproar over Minaj's tweets with misinformation about the vaccine's side effects, the White House offered a call with Minaj to explain the safety of the vaccine.

  • "As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine," a White House official said in a statement.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Psaki on Thursday said officials had proposed "a very early stage call" about the efficacy of the vaccine.

  • "This is pretty standard and something we do all the time. It was a very early stage call at a staff level, staff-to-staff, and ... we weren't even at the point of discussing the mechanisms or the format or anything along those lines, it was simply an offer to have a conversation, and an early-stage call"
  • "We work with a range of partners to communicate the efficacy and the safety of the vaccine," Psaki said.
  • "We know there might be more effective voices, we don't always know how effective working in partnership with celebrities may or may not be, but sometimes it is a tool that we can use," Psaki said.

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.