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Texas sues Pfizer over vaccine effectiveness claims


Healthcare worker filling a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Associated Press/Photo by Lynne Sladky

Texas sues Pfizer over vaccine effectiveness claims

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a state lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Pfizer on Thursday, accusing the bio-med giant of mis­rep­re­sent­ing the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine. Paxton alleges Pfizer misled users when claiming the vaccine has a 95 percent effectiveness because of its “relative risk reduction,” noting that the claim was based on just two months of clinical trial data. “Actual risk reduction,” however, was only 0.85 percent effective, according to the lawsuit. Paxton accused Pfizer of violating Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act by “making unsupported claims regarding the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.” The complaint also alleged Pfizer “censored persons who threatened to disseminate the truth” regarding their vaccines. Paxton is asking for more than $10 million in fines from Pfizer and for the company to stop censoring “truthful speech” about its vaccines.

What does Pfizer have to say? Pfizer issued a statement assuring its vaccine information and marketing is “accurate and science-based,” and that Paxton’s complaint has no basis. It’s the second lawsuit Paxton has filed against Pfizer in the last month. The first filing, unsealed on Nov. 21, accused Pfizer of tampering with quality control test results that caused ineffective drugs to be shipped and sold.

Dig deeper: Read Emma Freire’s report in WORLD Magazine on expert opinions differing on COVID-19 vaccines.


Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.


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