A number of social media users are claiming that the FDA has said that unvaccinated people are more intelligent than vaccinated people. We have fact-checked and found that the claim is mostly false.
“FDA advisory board said Friday unvaccinated are more educated on the vaccine than most people who have gotten it, and ‘we cannot adequately refute their concerns, which should make us all very uncomfortable,” reads a social media post. The post was initially put up by a Twitter user and then a snapshot of the same got widely shared on Facebook. While the original tweet was deleted by the user, the Facebook posts related to the same can be seen here, here, here, and, here. A screenshot of the same is also given below.
Did an FDA official say unvaccinated people are more intelligent than vaccinated people?
No. FDA or any other FDA-designated official did not make such a statement.
The quote was misrepresented from a speech given by Dr. Joseph Fraiman, an Emergency Medicine Physician in New Orleans in the United States of America. Dr. Fraiman was speaking in a virtual presentation on September 17, in front of an FDA Advisory Committee for Vaccines and Related Biological Products where he was explaining the mindset of vaccine-hesitant people and discussing ways to tackle vaccine hesitancy.
In this context, he mentioned that vaccine-hesitant people are not always uneducated or misinformed, rather most of the vaccine-hesitant people he deals with are well informed about various vaccine research. He emphasized the need to have larger trials and adequately answer the questions raised by vaccine-hesitant people.
His exact words can be seen at 14:17:38 in the video below. He says, “I know that many think the vaccine-hesitant are dumb or just misinformed. That’s not at all what I’ve seen. In fact, typically, independent of education level, the vaccine-hesitant I’ve met in the ER are more familiar with vaccine studies and more aware of their own COVID risk than the vaccinated.”
For starters, Dr. Fraiman’s observation was NOT an analysis of the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated. It was an insight into the vaccine-hesitant people.
Second, this is NOT an official FDA stance on any issue. In a mail confirmation given to Reuters, an FDA spokesperson has clarified the same.
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