Fact check: False claims that stem from the 80,000 page Pfizer release


Fact check: False claims about Pfizer vaccine stem from company’s release of 80,000 pages of documents

Sudiksha Kochi


June 9, 2022

The claim: 80,000 pages of Pfizer data show the vaccine has a 12% efficacy rate, harms fetuses

As the spring saw another surge of coronavirus cases across the country, healthcare officials are urging people to get vaccinated. But some social media posts are spreading false claims that the Pfizer vaccine is  both ineffective and dangerous.

“Pfizer data released today. 80,000 pages. Pfizer knew vaccine harmed the fetus in pregnant women, and that the vaccine was not 95% effective,” reads an Instagram post shared May 4. “Pfizer data shows it having a 12% efficacy rate.”

These claims were made two days after more than 80,000 pages of Pfizer COVID data was made public. The data was released as part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, according to Abigail Capobianco, a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration.

But the claim is wrong on multiple fronts.

USA TODAY could not verify whether the claimed 12% efficacy rate was in the 80,000 pages Pfizer released. None of the social media claims have provided documentation showing that figure. But multiple experts told USA TODAY the claims about the vaccine’s low efficacy rate stem from misinterpretations of Pfizer’s 2020 phase three clinical trial.

The trial actually showed an efficacy rate of 95%. Extensive Pfizer research studies on the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine do not validate the 12% figure in the claim either.

It is also unclear from which document the claim about the vaccine harming fetuses originates. But multiple studies and CDC reports show the Pfizer vaccine is safe for fetuses.

It’s not clear where the 12% efficacy rate comes from, since both the FDA and Pfizer declined to comment on whether it was in the release. But experts told USA TODAY the incorrect figure is based on a misinterpretation of data in a 2020 Pfizer clinical trial.

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1 Response to Fact check: False claims that stem from the 80,000 page Pfizer release

  1. Pingback: Fake claims about the Pfizer documents | weehingthong

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