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Video distorts Pfizer executive’s statement about vaccine effectiveness

Misleading: The post that echoes a statement by a Croatian politician in which he claims that vaccines against covid-19 are “fake” is misleading, with no difference between getting vaccinated or not in preventing infections and deaths. The speech distorts a statement by a Pfizer executive to the European Parliament, given in October. At the hearing, Janine Small claims that there were no tests on the impact of the immunizer on the chain of transmission of the coronavirus, and not on the effectiveness of the immunizer. In terms of preventing deaths, there is indeed effectiveness, as shown by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Imperial College of London and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the United Kingdom.
Investigated Content: One video that circulates on TikTok, in which Croatian lawyer and politician Mislav Kolakusic takes out of context a statement given by Janine Small, an executive at Pfizer, to the European Parliament to suggest the ineffectiveness of vaccination against covid-19. To reinforce the denialist discourse, the verified piece claims that the pharmaceutical would have admitted a “global crime”.

where it was published: TikTok.

Completion of Proof: The speech of Croatian politician and lawyer Mislav Kolakusic is misleading, who suggests the ineffectiveness of vaccination against covid-19 in reducing the number of deaths due to the disease, calling vaccines “fake”. The statement is echoed in a post that circulates on TikTok, which inserts over the video the words: “Pfizer admits worldwide crime”.

Kolakusic distorts a statement given by Pfizer pharmaceutical executive Janine Small to the European Parliament on October 10th. At the time, Janine declared that the company just did not test, before the vaccine was made available, with regard to the impact on the transmission of the coronavirus between humans.

Regarding the deaths, Janine cites the opposite of what the Croatian suggests, and mentions study from Imperial College London, published in June 2022, which estimated a reduction of 19.8 million deaths from Covid-19 worldwide due to vaccination. The snippet does not appear in the verified post.

In addition to these data, Comprova sought information on the websites of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the United Kingdom, which reinforce the effectiveness of vaccines against deaths from covid-19.

misleading, for Comprova, is content taken from the original context and used in another so that its meaning undergoes changes; that uses inaccurate data or that leads to an interpretation different from the author’s intention; content that confuses, with or without the deliberate intent to cause harm.

Scope of publication: As of November 11, the publication had 40,400 likes, in addition to 2,118 comments and 22,200 shares.

What does the publisher say?: It was not possible to contact the author of the post, as TikTok does not allow the exchange of messages between accounts that do not follow each other. Similar profile searches were made on other platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, but without success. On Instagram, a profile with the same description was identified, however, the account does not allow direct messaging. Despite the similarity in the user description, the accounts have different contents and there are no elements that allow inferring that both belong to the same person.

How do we check: The verified post is a video in which a man quotes a statement from a Pfizer executive that was made to Dutch politician and European Parliament Member Rob Roos. Google search with the terms “rob roos interview pfizer director vaccine” led to a video on Roos’ Facebook page where he echoes the statement. From the material, it was possible to locate the entire hearing on the European Parliament website, understand its context, in addition to identifying the main stakeholders.

The verified post bears the subscription of the Telegram channel from which the video was taken. On Twitter from the same channel, it was possible to locate a publication with the same video in a format that allowed the name of the man who makes the misleading statement to be read: Mislav Kolakusic, Croatia’s representative in the European Parliament.

In addition to the statement by the Pfizer executive, he cites, superficially, data from the National Health Service (NHS), in England. Comprova made contact with the NHS, but did not receive a response until the completion of this verification. However, research on the websites of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Imperial College of London and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the United Kingdom, confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing deaths from covid-19, contrary to the which Mislav Kolakusic suggests in the misleading post.

Pfizer executive’s speech has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the vaccine against covid-19

The video used in the verified post shows a statement by Mislav Kolakusic in the European Parliament. Croatian lawyer and politician, he echoes an answer given on October 10 by Janine Small, Pfizer executiveto Dutch politician Rob Roos, also in the european parliament, to suggest that vaccines are ineffective and that, therefore, pharmaceutical companies should be sued and the European Union reimbursed for the costs of purchasing immunizers. Kolakusic and Roos are representatives of their countries in the European Parliament.

THE Rob Roos, Janine Small says (from 15:31:44) that no tests were carried out in relation to a possible break in the chain of transmission of the coronavirus before the Pfizer vaccine was made available to the market. On its Facebook page, Roos uses only a portion of the answer to criticize the vaccine passport, implemented in several countries under the justification that, when vaccinated, protection was also conferred on others.

To Janine Small’s response, Mislav Kolakusic adds, on another occasion and without further details, that data from NHS England show that there is no difference between infections and deaths from covid-19 between those who were vaccinated with up to four doses and those who were not vaccinated. The statement was shared by Kolakusic on Twitter.🇧🇷 With that, the Croatian calls the vaccines “fake” and asks for the interruption of the purchase of more doses, reimbursement of what has already been paid and that pharmaceutical companies and laboratories be sued.

Data show that vaccinees die less

Contrary to what Mislav Kolakusic claims, data from Europe and England show that vaccines were effective in preventing deaths from covid-19. Janine Small’s full answer (from 15:31:44) contains information that was overlooked in the videos shared by Roos and Kolakusic, which went viral on social media. she quotes Imperial College London study, of June 2022, which estimates that vaccination against covid-19 prevented 19.8 million deaths worldwide. The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, analyzed data from 185 countries.

Another piece of data that contrasts with the Croatian politician’s statement is that of the Office for National Statistics (ONS)the official body of the United Kingdom. The analysis of deaths between 1 January 2021 and 31 May 2022 in England by covid-19, according to vaccine status, shows two main conclusions:

  • Consistent reduction in deaths each month after introduction of the third dose in September 2021, comparing those vaccinated with the third or fourth dose and the unvaccinated or vaccinated with one or two doses.
  • Higher number of deaths among those who took the second dose six months ago than among those who took the second dose in a later period, which indicates a possible reduction in the protection provided by the vaccine over time.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), equivalent to Anvisa in Brazil, maintains a page on its website with updated data on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines against covid-19 approved in Europe – Pfizer among them. Until October 2022, there were almost 926 million doses applied in Europe. The EMA claims the vaccines are safe and effective, having met all the agency’s criteria for efficacy, safety and quality in tens of thousands of trials.

why do we investigate: Comprova investigates suspicious content that goes viral on social media about the pandemic, public policies of the federal government and presidential elections. The verified video denies the empirically proven effectiveness of the use of immunizations against covid-19, including in reducing the number of deaths and more serious manifestations of the disease, reinforcing the denialist discourse disseminated in different ways in different parts of the world. In such cases, misinformation can put people’s lives at risk.

Other checks on the topic: Also investigated by UOL Verifies, the statement by Croatian Mislav Kolakusic was identified as distorted🇧🇷

About the pandemic, Projeto Comprova also investigated that it is misleading that vaccination in children in the UK has been discontinued due to rising deaths🇧🇷 what US health agency did not include ivermectin among covid-19 therapies🇧🇷 that death of six Canadian doctors is not related to the immunizer and what are False claims by doctor who treats covid vaccination in children as “mass murder”🇧🇷

Investigated by O DIA and Correio. Verified by Plural Curitiba, NSC Comunicação, Folha de S.Paulo, Estadão, Metrópoles and Estado de Minas.

Source: CNN Brasil

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