Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Pfizer, alleging the Big Pharma giant lied about the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine.1 In addition to misrepresenting the shot’s efficacy, the suit claims Pfizer attempted to censor public discussion related to the shot.
“Pfizer engaged in false, deceptive and misleading acts and practices by making unsupported claims regarding the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” a press release from Paxton’s office states.2
Pfizer’s 95% Effectiveness Claims ‘Highly Misleading’
The suit begins by stating how Pfizer “broadcast to the world” that its COVID-19 shot was 95% effective. As a result, Americans were led to believe that this was the panacea to end the pandemic, prompting them to receive the experimental product. But not only did Pfizer’s shot not end the pandemic, the pandemic worsened:3
“Based on this and other statements made by Pfizer touting the efficacy of its new vaccine, Americans were given the impression that Pfizer’s vaccine would end the coronavirus pandemic and lift the omnipresent veil of fear and uncertainty from an anxious public.
Placing their trust in Pfizer, hundreds of millions of Americans lined up to receive the vaccine. Contrary to Pfizer’s public statements, however, the pandemic did not end; it got worse.
More Americans died in 2021, with Pfizer’s vaccine available, than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. This, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of Americans received a COVID-19 vaccine, with most taking Pfizer’s.
Indeed, by the end of 2021, official government reports showed that in at least some places a greater percentage of the vaccinated were dying from COVID-19 than the unvaccinated. Pfizer’s vaccine plainly was not ‘95% effective.’”
Pfizer’s representation of its shot being 95% effective was deceptive, the suit claims, because Pfizer used relative risk reduction. Cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra is among those who spoke out about Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot flaws. As reported in the film “Safe and Effective: A Second Opinion”:4
“’Relative risk reduction is a way of exaggerating the benefits of any intervention … which would be in the interest of people trying to sell you something — in this case, the pharmaceutical industry.
So if, for example, you have 1,000 people in a trial that didn’t have the vaccine versus 1,000 people that did in the placebo group … you may have two people dying. And in the intervention group, you may have just one person dying. And that’s a reduction of 50%. One over two is a 50% relative risk reduction. But actually, you’ve only saved one life out of 1,000.
So, the absolute risk reduction is only 1 in 1,000. It’s a big difference. The guidance has been for many years that we must always use absolute risk reduction in conversations with patients, not just relative risk reduction alone; otherwise, it’s considered unethical,’ Malhotra said.
The accusation is that governments acted on Pfizer’s relative risk figure of 95% efficacy, when the absolute risk was a mere 0.84%. In other words, you’d have to vaccinate 119 people to prevent just one from catching COVID. ‘So we were basically sold on something that ultimately, and in retrospect now, was very, very misleading.’”
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states relative risk reduction is misleading and “unduly influences” consumer choice, such that treatments are viewed more favorably because the risk reduction seems larger than it would using other metrics.5
Flawed Methodology Also Behind Pfizer’s Inflated Efficacy Numbers
Pfizer’s misleading 95% efficacy claim was also based on flawed methodology.6 One trick used to get this misleadingly high efficacy figure is to ignore people who got COVID-19 within 14 days after their first shot.
In Pfizer’s trial, 37.2% of those who were tested for COVID-19 within 13 days of their first shot were positive — but not counted as such. How can this skew results? As explained on Substack’s “Where are the numbers,” a newsletter about the abuse of science and statistics:7
“So, imagine the most extreme case in which every vaccinated person gets covid within the first two weeks of their first dose. Then, assuming (as is likely) that none get infected a second time within the 19 weeks, according to the study definition no vaccinated people ever got covid over the whole period of the study.
If only one person in the unvaccinated comparative cohort had got covid, over the same period, the vaccine efficacy (defined as one minus the proportion of vaccinated infected divided by the proportion of unvaccinated infected times 100) will be reported as 100%.”
The study found that during any two-week period from December 28, 2020, to May 19, 2021, the COVID-19 infection rate was about 0.8%, compared to 37.2% among those tested within two weeks of their first shot.
“If people were tested every two weeks then we could reasonably conclude the vaccinated were getting infected — within two weeks of their first jab — at a rate that was almost 50 times greater than the general rate for this population,” but “if you don’t look for covid, by not testing for it, or by ignoring the test results you won’t find it.”8
They also pointed out that no deaths occurred among the participants who tested positive for COVID-19 and had at least one COVID-19-like symptom, including among the 812 (out of 1,482) who were unvaccinated. But since this clearly makes the shots look unnecessary and ineffective, it was conveniently ignored:9
“[T]here was a grand total of zero deaths: an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0%. And 812 of those were unvaccinated. Bear in mind that this when covid was supposed to have been rampaging globally and causing widespread death. And of course that nugget somehow never got mentioned in the abstract, mains results, conclusions, or discussion.
It only appeared in the detailed results section (along with the fact that only 2% were hospitalized).”
Pfizer’s ‘Deception Campaign’ Went Beyond Misleading Effectiveness
Aside from misleading Americans about its shot’s effectiveness, the suit details three additional ways Pfizer “expanded its deception campaign”:10
1. Duration of protection — When Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot was granted emergency use authorization, it was unknown if efficacy would wane beyond two months.11 “But in early 2021, Pfizer deliberately created the false impression that its vaccine had durable and sustained protection, going so far as to withhold highly relevant data and information from the consuming public showing that efficacy waned rapidly,” the suit notes.12
2. Transmission — Even though the FDA warned Pfizer that it needed more information to determine if the shot protected against COVID-19 transmission, Pfizer “engaged in a fear-mongering campaign, exploiting intense public fears over the year-long pandemic by insinuating that vaccination was necessary for Americans to protect their loved ones from contracting COVID-19.”13
3. Variant protection — Pfizer’s data showed that its COVID-19 shot performed poorly against the delta variant, but Pfizer led the public to believe otherwise. “Pfizer told the public that its vaccine was ‘very, very, very effective against Delta,'” according to the suit.14
A group of Japanese researchers even released research showing that the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant was “poised to acquire complete resistance” to existing COVID-19 jabs like Pfizer’s.15 What’s more, when four common mutations were introduced to the delta variant, Pfizer’s mRNA injection enhanced its infectivity, causing it to become resistant.
Meanwhile, the data continued to roll in showing Pfizer’s shot was a failure. Eye-opening statistics reported in the suit include:16
- Shortly after the delta variant emergence in Israel in 2021, the shot’s relative risk reduction dropped from 64% in June 2021 to 39% in July
- In late 2021, some areas reported negative efficacy for Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, meaning a higher percentage of people who’d received the jab got COVID-19 and even died from it compared to those who didn’t get the shot
- Even with widespread acceptance of the shot, the percentage of people with COVID-19 increased over time
Pfizer Launched Censorship, Disinformation Campaign to Cover Up the Truth
As it became increasingly clear that Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot wasn’t living up to the hype, Pfizer engaged in a campaign to silence any critics by using censorship and intimidation against those telling the truth:17
“How did Pfizer respond when it became apparent that its vaccine was failing and the viability of its cash cow under threat? By intimidating those spreading the truth, and by conspiring to censor the vaccine’s critics. Pfizer labeled as “criminals” those who spread facts about the vaccine. It accused them of spreading “misinformation.”
And it coerced social media platforms to silence prominent truth-tellers. Indeed, Pfizer even went so far as to request that social media platforms silence a former FDA director because his comments could “driv[e] news coverage” critical of the vaccine …
In summary, Pfizer intentionally misrepresented the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine and censored persons who threatened to disseminate the truth in order to facilitate fast adoption of the product and expand its commercial opportunity.
In light of the multi-billion dollar bet that Pfizer made on the vaccine and its need to quickly establish the product as the marketing leader, Pfizer was heavily incentivized to, and in fact did, make misrepresentations intended to confuse and mislead the public in order to achieve widespread adoption of its vaccine.”
The suit is asking that Pfizer be prohibited from making representations about the shot’s effectiveness and ordered to pay civil penalties of up to $ 10,000 per violation, which could exceed $ 10 million18 — a drop in the bucket for a company that made billions off the pandemic.
“Given the unprecedented political power and influence over public health policies that pharmaceutical companies now wield, it is more important than ever that they are held accountable if they take dangerous, illegal actions to boost their revenues,” Paxton’s press release said.19
It’s the second lawsuit the Texas attorney general filed against Pfizer in November 2023. The previous suit alleged Pfizer and a supplier altered quality-control tests on ADHD drugs.20 Meanwhile, signs suggest the public is no longer falling for Pfizer’s PR. Only 7.1% of adults and 2.1% of children received the updated COVID-19 shot that Pfizer rolled out in the fall.21
As a result, Pfizer is pulling out all the stops to increase uptake. The Big Pharma giant reportedly paid Kansas City Chiefs’ star Travis Kelce $ 20 million to promote “two shots in one go”22 — a double jab of COVID-19 and flu shot.