On October 26 2021, an undated Twitter screenshot circulated, claiming that the “FDA vaccine advisory board” had bemoaned that unvaccinated Americans are highly educated:
— Raider Pablo (@R8erN8tion) October 27, 2021
Contextual information about the tweet (originally tweeted by @Leve_raged) was missing; the tweet itself said:
FDA vaccine 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”New Alberta Premier says the unvaccinated are ‘the most discriminated against group’New Alberta Premier says the unvacc...
Use of the word “Friday” in the screenshot enabled the image to circulate in perpetuity without necessarily being obviously dated. Our efforts to locate the tweet suggested that it had been deleted by @Leve_raged at some point after it was originally shared. A reverse image search indicated that the original tweet was published no later than September 22 2021:
Roughly a month before the image began recirculating, several news organizations reported on its initial circulation in screenshot form and provided context for the content in the tweet:
The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is a 15-member panel of outside experts charged with evaluating data on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and advising the FDA. The committee held an eight-hour streamed meeting Friday [September 17 2021] to discuss the use of booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Following the meeting, a number of social media posts began circulating online falsely attributing statements to FDA officials and vaccine advisory committee members, when they were actually made by independent speakers during the meeting’s public-comment period.
However, none of the individuals who commented during the open public hearing session were FDA employees or members of the advisory committee, FDA press officer Abby Capobianco confirmed in an email to The Associated Press.
Another outlet explained:
Dr. Joseph Fraiman, a Louisiana emergency medicine physician, spoke during the open public hearing session at the Sept. 17  meeting.
During his presentation, Fraiman asked the FDA to conduct a larger study on the benefits of booster shots to help quell fear among unvaccinated patients in his community.
“I know many think the vaccine-hesitant are dumb or just misinformed. That’s not at all what I’ve seen,” he said. “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 risks than the vaccinated.”
Fraiman gave the example of a young nurse he worked with who said she felt her risk of getting COVID-19 was lower than her risk of experiencing a serious side effect from the vaccine. He asked the FDA to conduct larger trials to prove the vaccines’ benefits outweigh their risks.
USA Today quoted Fraiman about both the context of his September 2021 comments, as well as their second life in screenshot form:
In an email to USA TODAY, Fraiman confirmed he was not speaking on behalf of the FDA. “I was speaking to express my concerns as an emergency physician who regularly works with the vaccine-hesitant, and felt my personal experience could be valuable for the FDA advisory board decision,” he said. “I did not expect my presentation to receive the attention that it has.”
As is often the case, it appeared @Leve_raged deleted their “FDA vaccine advisory board said Friday unvaccinated are more educated on the vaccine” tweet after myriad sources debunked its assertions. After its initial spread, users continued sharing screenshots of the claim. Recycling of the disproved claim kept reappearing in part because the tweet said “Friday” instead of specifying a date in September 2021, making the claim sound fresh and recent to anyone already inclined to agree with it.