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Sean Hannity walked back his enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines after being praised by the White House

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Sean Hannity insisted Thursday that he had never changed his stance on COVID-19 vaccines.
Sean Hannity insisted Thursday that he had never changed his stance on COVID-19 vaccines. Fox News
  • Sean Hannity dialed down his enthusiasm for vaccines after winning praise from President Joe Biden.

  • The Fox News host on Monday appeared to encourage viewers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • He changed tack Thursday, saying: "I never told anyone to get a vaccine."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Fox News host Sean Hannity walked back his enthusiasm for COVID-19 vaccines after winning approval from President Joe Biden for praising vaccinations on his show earlier in the week.

Hannity told viewers on his show Thursday that he had "never told anyone to get a vaccine."

"I've been very clear," he said. "I am simply not qualified. I am not a medical doctor. I know nothing about your medical history or your current medical condition."

The comments represented a shift in tone from Hannity's comments Monday, when he praised COVID-19 vaccines.

"'Just like we've been saying, please take COVID seriously," he told viewers.

"I can't say it enough, enough people have died, we don't need any more deaths. Take it seriously.

"It absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccinations."

Hannity has taken a convoluted line on whether he favors vaccines. He said in January he was "beginning to have doubts" about getting the shots.

In February, he said he was "not anti-vaccine" but also refused to say whether he would get vaccinated, The Washington Post reported.

His shift in tone came after Biden at a CNN town hall on Wednesday noted that some right-wing figures appeared to have experienced a kind of awakening on vaccines.

The president appeared to refer to Fox News when he said: "One of those other networks - they're not a big fan of mine, one you talk about a lot - but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they've had an altar call, some of those guys."

Fox News was widely perceived to have shifted towards a more pro-vaccine stance this week. The network on Wednesday rolled out a public service announcement to encourage viewers to receive the vaccine featuring some of its prominent newscasters, CNN reported.

"If you can, get the vaccine," the Fox News host Harris Faulkner said in the PSA, per CNN.

A Fox News spokesperson pointed to the network's previous vaccine-focused PSA which began airing in February.

The spokesperson highlighted examples of personalities promoting the vaccine from January, including when Hannity said in January: "I've been telling my friends I'm gonna get the vaccine."

Some of the network's most prominent voices remain reluctant, however.

Tucker Carlson appeared to implicitly criticize the network's decision to run the most recent vaccination PSA less than an hour after it first aired with a dig at CNN.

"As a channel, CNN shouldn't have a position on whether you should take medicine or not, because it's a news channel, it's not a health agency," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider