Fact Check By: Newswise
In COVID hearing, #Pfizer director admits: #vaccine was never tested on preventing transmission. "Get vaccinated for others" was always a lie. The only purpose of the #COVID passport: forcing people to get vaccinated.Claim Publisher and Date: Rob Roos MEP on 2022-10-11
Rob Roos, an Dutch member of the European Parliament with a history of reiterating conservative talking points, claimed that the Pfizer director admitted that their COVID-19 vaccine was never tested on preventing transmission. On the show Tucker Carlson Tonight, Roos claimed that the delivery of the vaccine was "one of the greatest scandals of our time." Many anti-vaccine advocates are sharing this news on social media under the hashtag #PfizerGate. The tweet and video have been shared by over 30k. The post implies both the company and public health officials misled the public in order to increase vaccination rates.
The claim is rated false. Pfizer didn’t claim to have tested its COVID-19 vaccine’s ability to prevent transmission, and this information was clearly available in press releases published by the European Medicines Agency as well as the published study containing results from Pfizer’s clinical trials. In fact, when the FDA announced the emergency authorization of the Pfizer COVID vaccine back in December 2020, they stated, "at this time, data are not available to make a determination about how long the vaccine will provide protection, nor is there evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from person to person." The COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials were designed to study the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in preventing symptomatic disease, not transmission.
Katie Foss, Associate Director of Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Journalism and Strategic Media and author of Constructing the Outbreak : Epidemics in Media and Collective Media counters Roos’ claim and contextualizes how COVID-19 vaccine efficacy can be more accurately communicated in the media.
“The downside of our digital landscape is that complex concepts can easily be reduced to sound bites and social media posts. These are then used out of context to make false claims, significantly undermining immunization campaigns. The important takeaway from COVID messaging is not that vaccinated people won't contract the virus, but that they are far less likely to get seriously ill or die from the disease,” explains Foss.