Texas is suing the pharmaceutical giant behind the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a suit filed Thursday in state district court in Lubbock County, state Attorney General Ken Paxton accused Pfizer of promoting the vaccine and its boosters by making “unsupported claims.”
“Americans were given the impression that Pfizer’s vaccine would end the coronavirus pandemic,” the lawsuit said, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News. “Contrary to Pfizer’s public statements, however, the pandemic did not end; it got worse.”
Among the facts noted are that more Americans died of COVID-19 in 2021, the year the vaccine became widely available, than died in 2020. A majority of the adults dying of COVID-19 as of August 2022, had been vaccinated and/or boosted, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows.
Pfizer said the claims in the lawsuit had “no merit.”
“The representations made by the company about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based,” it said. “Pfizer is deeply committed to the well-being of the patients it serves and has no higher priority than the safety and effectiveness of its treatments and vaccines.”
In the lawsuit, Texas asks for millions of dollars in damages, a ban on Pfizer misrepresenting its vaccine’s effectiveness and an order against the pharmaceutical giant’s “coordinating with social media platforms to silence truthful speech.”
Mr. Paxton’s case, citing company emails, says that in the name of corporate profits Pfizer tried to intimidate and silence critics on social media.
“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 reads.