As Pfizer seeks booster approval for all adults, CEO Albert Bourla told the Atlantic Council that people who spread misinformation about the COVID-19 are “criminals.”
“But there is a very small part of professionals [who] circulate, on purpose, misinformation so that they will mislead those that they have concerns [with the vaccine]. Those people are criminals. They’re not bad people. They are criminals because they literally cost millions of lives,” Bourla told the Washington-based think tank on Tuesday.
“People make money, some of them by playing with the emotions of these people are creating a whole conspiracy theory, and they are trying to basically benefit and profit from this fear from the people. And this is who are the criminals,” Bourla said.
Bourla also talked about the booster shot – the third dose – saying it gives a very high level of protection, “higher than the originally achieved levels of protection, which was 95% with the two doses. The question is how long will it last? We know that we saw a waning of immunity six months after the second dose. We need to follow up for six, seven, eight, nine months after the booster dose.”
WHY THIS MATTERS
Bourla made his comments as Pfizer seeks emergency use authorization to give the COVID-19 booster shot to all adults, even as many Americans still decline to get one shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 58.5% of the United States population has been fully vaccinated.
Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a COVID-19 vaccine booster for all individuals age 18 and older through an amendment to the existing EUA for booster doses, according to CNN.
THE LARGER TREND
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has released a Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation to counteract misinformation, especially online.
Earlier this year, Murthy issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory warning people about health misinformation and calling for a whole-of-society approach to address it.
ON THE RECORD
“With the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to11 years old, it is more important than ever that families have access to accurate, science-based information,” Murthy said. “Health misinformation is spreading fast and far online and throughout our communities.
“The good news is that we all have the power to help stop the spread of health misinformation during this pandemic and beyond. That’s where this toolkit comes in – to provide Americans with resources to help limit and reduce this threat to public health.” Healthcare Finance News