Kansas sues Pfizer, says company ‘misled’ public on COVID-19 vaccine

The lawsuit is seeking damages and a declaration that Pfizer violated agreements with the state.

The suit was filed by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach. (Shutterstock)

Kansas on June 17 sued Pfizer, alleging the pharmaceutical giant “misled” members of the public with various claims about its COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer, for instance, said on April 1, 2021, that there were “no serious safety concerns through up to six months following second dose” of the vaccine it makes with Germany’s BioNTech, the lawsuit notes.

But documents made public through a lawsuit showed that Pfizer’s adverse events database, which includes reported issues following vaccination from around the world, already contained 158,893 adverse events as of Feb. 28, 2021.

“Pfizer’s representations that its COVID-19 vaccine did not have any safety concerns was inconsistent with the adverse events data it possessed,” the suit, filed by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, states. “Pfizer concealed, suppressed, or omitted material facts it possessed showing significant safety concerns associated with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

The suit also highlights how Pfizer in the same press release said that vaccinated trial participants enjoyed 91.3 percent protection against COVID-19 up to six months after a second dose.

Documents released later, though, showed that Pfizer recorded 83.7 percent effectiveness among trial participants at four months after a second dose, while finding indications in blood samples that effectiveness was waning even more at six months.

Pfizer disclosed the waning effectiveness on July 28, 2021, in a preprint paper.

Its press release that day mentioned positive findings from a different study but omitted mention of the preprint paper or how it had found signs of waning protection.

“Pfizer’s concealment, suppression, and omission of the waning effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine allowed Pfizer to profit from vaccinations of Kansans who may have been deterred from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine had they known about its waning effectiveness,” the suit states.

In the second quarter of 2021, Pfizer made nearly $8 billion from its COVID-19 vaccine.

The suit also notes that Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, said in early 2023 that “We constantly review and analyze the data“ and ”we’ve seen not a single signal although we have distributed billions of doses.”

By that time, officials in the United States and elsewhere had said the available evidence showed the vaccine causes myocarditis after first detecting a signal for the heart inflammation in 2021. Pfizer said in a leaked document dated February 11, 2022, that there were “increased cases of myocarditis” reported in the United States after Pfizer’s vaccination, and the label for its vaccine since 2021 carried a warning about the risk of the inflammation.

Mr. Kobach’s 69-page complaint, filed in district court in Thomas County, alleges Pfizer made false, misleading, and deceptive claims in violation of consent judgments it previously entered into with Kansas and other states to settle separate allegations. In one of the settlements, Pfizer in 2008 paid $60 million over its promotion of two prescription drugs and agreed to, moving forward, carefully present information about its products.

“Pfizer made multiple misleading statements to deceive the public about its vaccine at a time when Americans needed the truth,” Mr. Kobach said in a statement.

The Republican wants the court to declare that Pfizer’s claims about its vaccine violate the consent judgments and is seeking damages, including $20,000 for each violation of each of the agreements.

Pfizer in a statement to news outlets said the case will likely not succeed.

“We are proud to have developed the COVID-19 vaccine in record time in the midst of a global pandemic and saved countless lives. The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based. The company believes that the state’s case has no merit and will respond to the suit in due course,” the U.S.-based firm said.

“Pfizer is deeply committed to the well-being of the patients it serves and has no higher priority than ensuring the safety and effectiveness of its treatments and vaccines.”

The Pfizer vaccine is the most administered in the United States, with more than 367 million injected across the country since the shot was made available in late 2020.

This article was originally published at The Epoch Times


Zachary Stieber | The Epoch Times