A UK regulatory agency has found Pfizer guilty of violating three sections of the British Pharmaceuticals Code of Practice.
During a BBC interview aired on December 2 2021 Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Ph.D., made “misleading” and “unqualified” comments promoting the use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for young children.
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A complaint against Pfizer pharmaceutical was filed by Us For Them, “a parent-led campaign group, on December 11 to the UK’s Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) – the regulator responsible for policing promotions of prescription medicines in the UK.
Children’s Health Defense reports: In the BBC interview, Bourla said it was up to the regulatory agencies to determine whether to approve and distribute vaccines to children under 11, but he thought that “immunising that age group in the UK and Europe would be a very good idea,” according to the PMCPA case report published last week.
At the time, no COVID-19 vaccines had been approved by the U.K.’s Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for children under 12, so the panel found Bourla’s comments were in breach of code.
Citing possible disruptions in schooling and the potential for long COVID, Bourla also said, “So, there was no doubt in my mind that the benefits completely were in favour of doing it [vaccinating children against COVID-19].”
He added, “I believe it’s a good idea.”
The panel found these strong opinion statements could lead the public to infer there was no need to be concerned with potential side effects or that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks, which had not been determined by the health authorities.
On Dec. 11, 2021, UsForThem filed its complaint with the PMCPA citing the promotional nature of the BBC’s reports and Bourla’s failure to comply with U.K. rules governing the promotion of medicines.
After the PMCPA ruled Bourla’s statements breached a number of rules in the ABPI’s code of practice, Pfizer appealed, including that his statements were of a “strong unqualified nature.”
The regulator also said the statements implied there was “no need to be concerned about potential side-effects of vaccination in healthy children aged 5-11” and that the implication was “misleading and incapable of substantiation.”
The appeal board upheld five counts of breaches of three ABPI codes that require information and claims “to be accurate, balanced, capable of substantiation, not raising unfounded hopes of successful treatment, and not be misleading with respect to the safety of the product,” The Epoch Times reported.
The PMCPA posted its final ruling on Jan. 27, more than a year after the initial complaint was filed.
During that time — in February 2022 — the U.K.’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation ruled children ages 5-11 could be offered the vaccine, but the committee said the recommendation was “non-urgent.”
UsForThem celebrated on Twitter: