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VERIFY: Claim that former FDA commissioner said he 'would not feel comfortable' giving COVID vaccines 'to our families' is bogus

People are sharing a quote made by FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn about the COVID vaccines out of context.

WASHINGTON —

THE QUESTION:

People online are sharing what appears to be a screengrab of a news story. The headline says "FDA Director won't approve vaccines 'would not feel comfortable giving to our families.'"

Is there any truth to this?

THE ANSWER:

This claim is completely bogus. The former FDA commissioner's words are completely taken out of context.

OUR SOURCES:

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing- Dr. Stephen Hahn's testimony (September 23, 2020)

WHAT WE FOUND:

Posts on Facebook are circulating a false claim about former FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, alleging that he said the COVID vaccines were not safe for American families.

People online are sharing what appears to be a screengrab of a news story. The headline says "FDA Director won't approve vaccines 'would not feel comfortable giving to our families.'"

The post below is an example of what's being shared on Facebook. Here are a few more examples.

Credit: Facebook
An example of posts on Facebook that claim Dr. Stephen Hahn, a former FDA commissioner during President Trump's Administration, said that he would "not feel comfortable" giving the COVID-19 vaccines "to our families." The quote is completely taken out of context, and the claim is false.


The Verify team sourced that quote back to former FDA commissioner Stephan Hahn testifying before a Senate committee on Sept. 23. 

Here's what he actually said: “The FDA will not authorize or approve a vaccine that we would not feel comfortable giving to our own families.”

So the headline had it completely wrong. Hahn was saying that they wouldn’t green-light a vaccine that they themselves wouldn’t want to take. 

"With respect to our approval or authorization of medical products, FDA does represent the gold standard," Hahn said.

RELATED: VERIFY: No, COVID vaccines don't last only six months

When asked if he would take an approved vaccine he said "absolutely, yes."

"I have complete and absolute faith in the expertise of the scientists who are terrific at FDA," Hahn said. "If they were to make a determination that a vaccine were to be safe and effective, I would do that and I would encourage my family to take the vaccine.”

And when the vaccines finally did get authorized, he shared the same message, that the COVID vaccines are safe and effective.

Back in December, Hahn made a comment following the Moderna vaccine EUA. 

 "Through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA," he said. 

So we can verify, the way people are sharing this quote is being taken out of context.

RELATED: VERIFY: Do I still need to wear a mask outdoors if I'm fully vaccinated?

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