A pharmaceutical authority has reportedly penalized Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla for making “misleading” claims on the Covid vaccine for children.
News.com.au reported that in an interview with BBC Breakfast broadcast in the first week of December 2021, Dr. Bourla said that the virus was “thriving” in schools and “there is no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely, are in favor of” vaccinating children aged five.
At the time, the vaccination authority in the country has not yet decided whether or not the shots may be given to youngsters aged 5-11.
The vaccine was not officially authorized for use in children until February 2022, when the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) met and decided it was safe.
In March 2022, there was evidence suggesting the vaccine’s efficacy had dropped to 12% in the weeks after administration to youngsters.
During his talk with the BBC, Dr. Bourla said that the “indirect protection of adults” was the primary advantage of immunizing children.
“The extent to which we can do that and protect adults by avoiding them being infected by children with the current vaccines is still quite uncertain,” he said.
The vaccine, even at a low dosage, generates a pretty effective protective immune response in children, creating far fewer adverse effects than other vaccines because of this. “So, that’s the balance,” he said, “We clearly want to protect children as much as possible.”
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UsForThem, a parent advocacy organization, filed an official complaint with the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) shortly after the interview came out.
According to The Telegraph, the complaint said that Dr. Bourla’s statements were “disgracefully misleading” and “extremely promotional in nature,” thus, it violated various provisions of the code of conduct established by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
The lawsuit stated that there is simply no evidence healthy pupils in the UK are at high risk from the SARS-COV-2 virus.
The PMCPA formed a code of practice panel, which concluded that Pfizer had broken the code in many ways, including deceiving the public, making unfounded claims, and failing to provide facts in an accurate and balanced manner, as reported by The Telegraph.
Pfizer filed an appeal, claiming Dr. Bourla’s comments were supported by current scientific data and independent benefit-risk analyses that are accessible to the public.
In November, a panel of the appeals board convened and affirmed the violations for deceiving the public, making baseless assertions, and lacking objectivity.
Some of the most severe conclusions were reversed, such as that Pfizer had tainted the industry’s reputation, promoted the irrational use of a drug, and failed to keep high standards.
Pfizer official Janine Small told the EU Parliament last year that the company did not assess whether the vaccine reduced viral spread before the distribution.
After the remarks went viral, fact-checkers dispelled the myth, saying the vaccine’s main purpose was to protect against severe illness, not spread the virus.
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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada
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