Antivaxxers seize on Flemish doctor’s words, but turn his argument on its head

A short news item on the Antwerp regional broadcaster ATV has received publicity all over the world. Antivaxxers are seizing on a quote that turns the physician’s argument on its head.

In the report on the situation at the Saint Augustine’s Hospital in Antwerp chief physician Kristiaan Deckers explains that most of the beds in ICUs are occupied by vaccinated patients.  The fact that most of these people have underlying health issues was dropped from the item that wasn’t even about vaccinations.

A quote from Kristiaan Deckers’s interview that was lifted out of a 90 second report has gone round the globe: “The patients in intensive care wards at GZA Hospitals – I checked it yesterday – are all unvaccinated”.

The quote is being used in several Facebook and Telegram groups to illustrate the inefficiency of vaccination or even the total failure of corona vaccines.  On Twitter the quote has been translated into French, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Greek, German and even Japanese.

Dr Deckers remains calm amid all the commotion.  He says it’s hard to provide nuance in a very short news item and antivaxxers can easily take things out of context.

The quote is a popular share among antivaxxers, but Dr Deckers says they are turning his argument on its head: he said that it was especially important for people with weak immunity to get vaccinated. 

“This is why we are investing in booster jabs for people with low immunity.  It’s a very sensible decision.  I hope we can start quickly”.

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