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Kansas AG Sues Pfizer Over 'False and Misleading Marketing' of Covid Vaccine

Court filing says the company conspired with the federal government and 'must be held accountable' for 'suppressing the truth about its vaccine’s safety risks'

Kansas AG Sues Pfizer Over 'False and Misleading Marketing' of Covid Vaccine

The State of Kansas is suing pharmaceutical giant Pfizer over allegations that the company misled the public about the safety and efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach alleged during a press conference announcing the lawsuit that Pfizer engaged in “false and misleading marketing” of its Covid vaccine, adding that for the residents of his state, it was “imperative that Kansas making that decision receive the truth, they needed the truth, all Americans needed the truth. And in multiple respects, Pfizer did not provide the truth."

The 179-page complaint, filed on June 17 in Thomas County District Court, alleges that the company misled the public about the vaccine’s risks and its connection to serious adverse events, including myocarditis, pericarditis, failed pregnancies, and deaths.

Additionally, the lawsuit states, Pfizer worked to censor speech on social media that questioned the company’s claims about its COVID-19 vaccine.

Government records show that as of Feb. 7, Pfizer had administered more than 3.3 million vaccine doses in Kansas, which accounted for more than 60 percent of all COVID vaccine doses in the state.

Kobach has charged Pfizer with civil conspiracy, whereby the company “conspired with two or more persons from the federal government and third-party businesses and organizations to willfully conceal, suppress, or omit material facts relating to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

According to the legal filing, Pfizer violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and “must be held accountable for falsely representing the benefits of its COVID19 vaccine while concealing and suppressing the truth about its vaccine’s safety risks, waning effectiveness, and inability to prevent transmission.”

Last year, a similar lawsuit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Kobach said during the press conference that other states are working with Kansas in its investigation and are expected to file additional lawsuits.

Pfizer responded by defending its product, as well as the speed with which it was developed.

"We are proud to have developed the COVID-19 vaccine in record time in the midst of a global pandemic and saved countless lives," a Pfizer representative told The Topeka Capital-Journal. "The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based. The company believes that the state's case has no merit and will respond to the suit in due course."

In a statement to Bloomberg Law, a Pfizer representative said, “Since its initial authorization by FDA in December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to more than 1.5 billion people, demonstrated a favorable safety profile in all age groups, and helped protect against severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization and death.”

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