Kansas sues Pfizer over 'misleading statements' about COVID vaccine 

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The state of Kansas filed a lawsuit on Monday against pharmaceutical company Pfizer, alleging the company made “misleading claims” about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and the risks associated with the shot.

The suit, filed by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (R) in the District Court of Thomas County, claims Pfizer misled Kansas residents about the risks of the company’s COVID-19 shot when it claimed it was safe and allegedly hid evidence of the shot’s link to myocarditis and pregnancy issues.

Pfizer allegedly also gave residents a false impression when it claimed its vaccine was effective, but “knew” the shot waned over time and did not protect against COVID-19 variants, the complaint stated.

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

The suit argued Pfizer’s statements and language surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine were a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The state is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

In June 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added a warning regarding myocarditis and pericarditis, both rare heart inflammation conditions, to Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines.

A review of various COVID-19 vaccine studies, conducted by the National Institute of Health last year, found no evidence the shots are linked to an increased risk of miscarriage.

The pharmaceutical company is further accused of working with social media employees to “censor speech critical” of the COVID-19 vaccines and attempted to avoid government oversight, Kobach’s office said Monday.

Pfizer, in a statement to The Hill, said the case has “no merit” and plans to respond to the suit in “due course.”

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 said, adding later, “Patient safety is our number one priority, which is why we follow diligent safety and monitoring protocols.”

Kobach’s suit follows Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s complaint, filed last fall, that similarly accuses Pfizer of misrepresenting the COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness.

Paxton alleged that Pfizer gave the impression that its vaccine would end the COVID-19 pandemic and that the company’s claims of its shot being 95 percent effective were misleading.

More than 366 million doses of Pfizer’s original coronavirus vaccine were administered in the U.S., percent federal data. The results of an efficacy analysis of the company’s original COVID-19 vaccine released in November 2020 found that the injection was 95 percent effective against COVID-19 28 days after the first dose.

Like Kobach, Paxton also accused the company of using social media to “intimidate” and “silence prominent truth-tellers,” including former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who sits on Pfizer’s board of directors and was a prominent voice on immunization practices during the pandemic.

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