UsForThem v. Pfizer
Concerned parents win a victory
How it started:
Pfizer CEO Bourla commented on “vaccinating” British children under 12:
“There is no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely are in favor of doing it [vaccinating 5-to-11-year-olds in the UK and Europe].”
“Immunizing 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 favor of doing it.”
These are false and misleading statements. Bourla said nothing about risks associated with the shots. The current edited version of the interview is here without those statements.
UsForThem filed a Complaint with the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) — a self-regulatory body which administers the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry.
UsForThem stated that the tone, content and means of dissemination of this article and the associated video were promotional and misled parents about the safety of the Covid shots in children.
There were three earlier cases against Pfizer for promoting its Covid-19 vaccine illegitimately online (Cases AUTH/3422/11/20, AUTH/3438/12/20 and AUTH/3437/12/20). Pfizer won these prior cases.
How it ended:
The rulings finding violations were:
The Appeal Board considered that the subsequent strong opinion statements, including ‘So, there was no doubt in my mind that the benefits completely [completely] were in favour of doing it [vaccinating children against Covid-19]’ and ‘I believe it’s a very good idea’ might infer to the ultimate audience, including members of the public, that there was no need to be concerned about potential side-effects of vaccination in healthy children aged 5-11 which was not so. The Appeal Board considered that this implication was misleading and incapable of substantiation. The Appeal Board therefore upheld the Panel’s rulings of breaches of the Code.
The Appeal Board considered that the CEO’s opinion statements, including ‘So there is no doubt in my mind about the benefits completely are in favour of doing it’ might infer to the ultimate audience, including members of the public, that the benefits outweighed the risks when the UK regulatory authorities had not yet made any conclusions in relation to the vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds; no Covid-19 vaccine was licensed in the UK in that age group when the article at issue was published and the Appeal Board therefore upheld the Panel’s rulings of breaches of the Code.
The process took a year to complete. The group published its story here.