Fact Check: Meme Is NOT Correct That There Is No Scientific Proof Behind FDA Approval

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Meme Is NOT Correct That There Is No Scientific Proof Behind FDA Approval Ignores Record

Is a meme correct in implying that there is no scientific proof behind the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of vaccines? No, that's not true: The FDA provides publicly available documentation on its website for each of the three COVID-19 vaccines that have already been widely distributed, including memoranda that detail scientific proof through clinical studies to support its decision to grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Also, Lead Stories has previously debunked similar claims about FDA approval of the COVID vaccine.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on September 19, 2021. The text reads:

FDA approved does not mean scientifically proven. It means that a business deal has been made.

This is what the Facebook post looked like on September 23, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Sep 23 22:07:17 2021 UTC)

The FDA announced that it had approved the first COVID vaccine on August 23, 2021. Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is now marketed as Comirnaty.

This follows the FDA's December 14, 2020, publication describing the extensive vaccine development process.

As of September 23, 2021, the EUA Review Memoranda for Moderna, Johnson &Johnson's Janssen, and Pfizer COVID vaccines are publicly available on the FDA's website as well.

Lead Stories has previously reported on misleading claims pertaining to FDA approval of COVID vaccines. These articles can be found here, here, and here.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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