Was Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla just found guilty in the UK of misleading the public about the COVID-19 vaccine for children?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Pfizer CEO Found Guilty Of Vaccine Misinformation In UK!
These messages and a video have gone viral, claiming that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was just found guilty in the UK of misleading the public about the COVID-19 vaccine for children!
Pfizer found guilty of violating 3 sections of the British Pharmaceuticals Code of Practice The complainant alleged a breach of the Code as no information, whatsoever, was provided about reporting of side-effects, or indeed the side-effects themselves.
CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla was found GUILTY in the UK of misleading the public about the Covid Vaccine for Children
Here is my rough transcript of what the woman said in the viral video :
As the news on our site is… that we can now talk about, we’ve been asked not to talk about it until now. We now can.
And so we took Pfizer to the regulator in the UK, um… about comments that he made on the BBC about the kids’ vaccine, and we won.
And so Pfizer CEO Dr. Bourla has been found guilty of misleading parents about the COVID vaccine for kids, and as you expect, we will be writing and talking more about that over the coming weeks
And yeah, it just reinforces our view that there are deep, deep issues plaguing kids in the UK, and you know, we will continue to fight the, um… regulatory capture and vested interest which we see as so detrimental to children’s health and welfare.
We really hope that you will stay with us through that journey, and yeah, stand by for more. Um, okay, have a great week, everyone. Thank you and bye bye.
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Was Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla found guilty in the UK of misleading the public about the COVID-19 vaccine for children?!
— Dr. Adrian Wong (@DrAdrianWong) February 6, 2023
Was Pfizer CEO Found Guilty Of Vaccine Misinformation In UK?!
Ultimately, the PMCPA found that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla made one statement that breached the British pharmaceutical industry association’s code of conduct.
This may sound significant, but it is really much ado about nothing, because it did not prove that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children was deficient or dangerous in any way.
The PMCPA only ruled that Bourla made a single statement that was misleading, or not substantiated (at that time). Take a look for yourself…
Fact #1 : UK Regulatory Complaint Was Based On BBC Interview
First, let us establish some basic information and context about what’s going on.
This case is based on a December 2, 2021 BBC interview in which, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla made these statements.
- Immunising that age group [children under the age of 11] in the UK and Europe would be a very good idea.
- Covid in schools was thriving.
- So, there was no doubt in my mind that the benefits completely were in favour of doing it.
You can read the full BBC article, and watch the 158 second-long video, here.
Fact #2 : UsForThem Filed The Complaint
A parent campaign group who call themselves UsForThem filed a complaint with the UK Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), claiming that those comments were “disgracefully misleading“, as well as “egregiously false and misleading“.
The UsForThem group argued that the BBC interview of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla breached several sections of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) code of conduct.
In addition, the group also alleged that Pfizer was guilty of a “breach of undertaking” after it was found guilty of “illegitimately promoting its Covid-19 vaccine” less than six months earlier.
Fact #3 : PMCPA Is A Self-Regulatory Body
It should also be noted that the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) is not a government body, but an independent self-regulatory body established by the pharmaceutical industry in Britain.
The PMCPA serves to administer the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry.
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Fact #4 : PMCPA Initially Ruled Some Breaches Of ABPI Code
The PMCPA panel initially agreed with the complainant, UsForThem, and ruled that Pfizer breached the ABPI Code in three of the five key claims:
Breach of Undertaking : The Panel ruled that there was “no breach of the Code”.
Immunising that age group … would be a very good idea : The Panel ruled that there was “a breach of the Code”
Covid in schools was thriving : The Panel ruled that there was “no breach of the Code”.
There was no doubt in my mind that the benefits completely were in favour of doing it : The Panel ruled that there were “breaches of the Code”.
The Panel also considered that Pfizer had failed to maintain high standards, and a breach of the Code was ruled.
Fact #5 : PMCPA Did Not Have Full Transcript Or Video
The PMCPA noted that it “did not have the full unedited transcript of the interview or the video” when it made its initial ruling.
While the Panel was “obliged” to make its ruling based on what Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla “actually stated rather than the edited published article and video”, it was only able to make its ruling “based on the limited BBC transcript”.
This is an important point to make, because the Panel noted that Pfizer CEO gave BBC a 45-minute interview, but only a small portion was posted on the BBC website. Pfizer was also not able to obtain the full video or its transcript from the BBC. Naturally, Pfizer appealed the Panel’s findings.
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Fact #6 : PMCPA Appeal Board Overturned Most Breaches
Immunising that age group … would be a very good idea : The Appeal Board overturned the claim, and ruled that there was “no breach of the Code”
There was no doubt in my mind that the benefits completely were in favour of doing it : The Appeal Board ruled that there were “breaches of the Code”.
The Appeal Board also agreed that Pfizer breached the Code when its CEO stated that the benefits outweighed the risks when the UK regulatory authorities had not made any conclusions (at that time) to support that.
However, the Appeal Board overturned the claim that Pfizer failed to “encourage the rational use” of the vaccine, and ruled that there was “no breach of the Code”.
The Appeal Board also overturned the previous rulings of Code breaches by Pfizer in relation to high standards and Clause 2.
Fact #7 : PMCPA Did Not Penalise Pfizer
In the end, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was only found to have breached the ABPI Code of Conduct for one specific statement he made – “So, there is no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely, are in favour of doing it [vaccinating children against COVID-19]”
The penalty for that statement was listed in the PMCPA report as “Undertaking received“. In other words – Pfizer undertook not to repeat the breaches it committed.
In each case where a breach of the Code is ruled, the company concerned must give an undertaking that the practice in question has ceased forthwith and that all possible steps have been taken to avoid a similar breach in the future. A number of other sanctions can also be applied.
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Fact #8 : PMCPA Did Not Rule On Safety / Efficacy Of Pfizer Vaccine
To end, I think it is critical to note that, whether it rules for or against Pfizer, the PMCPA ruling had nothing to do with the safety or efficacy of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
That’s because the PMCPA only adjudicates the code of conduct for the British pharmaceutical industry, not the individual company’s clinical trials or its products.
In the end, what matters most is whether the COVID-19 vaccine for children are safe and effective. Regardless of how the PMCPA ruled, the UK government approved and recommends the COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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