State of Kansas Files a Lawsuit Against COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer

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The state's attorney general filed the lawsuit against Pfizer for its ‘misleading statements’ about the vaccine.

scales of justice; Image credit: unsplash

Image credit: unsplash

Yesterday Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach announced the state is suing Pfizer for misleading claims it made related to the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to Kobach, Deputy Attorney General Fran Oleen, Assistant Attorney General Kaley Schrader, and Assistant Attorney General Melanie Jack announced the lawsuit at a press conference in the state capital of Topeka.1

According to the complaint that was filed in Thomas County District Court, a news statement says Pfizer’s misled Kansans about the vaccines’ risks, including to pregnant women and for myocarditis. And that Pfizer claimed its vaccine protected against COVID variants, despite data showing otherwise. The statement also said the pharmaceutical company also suggested its vaccine prevented COVID transmission, but later admitted it had never studied whether its vaccine stopped transmission.1

The complaint also alleges that Pfizer coordinated with social media officials to censor speech critical of COVID-19 vaccines and declined to participate in the federal government’s vaccine development program, Operation Warp Speed, to avoid government oversight.1

“Pfizer made multiple misleading statements to deceive the public about its vaccine at a time when Americans needed the truth,” Kobach said.

Pfizer's partner, BioNTech, was not named in the suit.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first FDA approved vaccine back in 2021.

In a statement to the newspaper, The Hill, a Pfizer said the case has “no merit” and plans to respond to the suit in “due course.”2

We are proud to have developed the COVID-19 vaccine in record time in the midst of a global pandemic and saved countless lives. The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based,” the company said, adding later, “Patient safety is our number one priority, which is why we follow diligent safety and monitoring protocols.”2

In the Nature of the Action section of the compliant, the attorney general alleges:
1.Pfizer misled the public that it had a "safe and effective" COVID-19 vaccine.
2.Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was safe even though it knew its COVID-19 vaccine was connected to serious adverse events, including myocarditis and pericarditis, failed pregnancies, and deaths.
3.Pfizer concealed this critical safety information from the public.
4. Pfizer’s said its COVID-19 vaccine would prevent transmission of COVID-19 even though it knew it never studied the effect of its vaccine on transmission of COVID-19.
5.To keep the public from learning the truth, Pfizer worked to censor speech on social media that questioned Pfizer’s claims about its COVID-19 vaccine.
6. Pfizer’s misrepresentations of a “safe and effective” vaccine resulted in record company revenue of approximately $75 billion from COVID-19 vaccine sales in just two years. 7.
7. Pfizer’s actions and statements relating to its COVID-19 vaccine violated previous consent judgments with the State of Kansas.
8.Pfizer’s actions and statements relating to its COVID-19 vaccine violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, K.S.A. 50-623 et seq., regardless of whether any individual consumer ultimately received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
9. Pfizer must be held accountable for falsely representing the benefits of its COVID-19 vaccine while concealing and suppressing the truth about its vaccine’s safety risks, waning effectiveness, and inability to prevent transmission.

In the Allegations Common to All Counts section, the complaint reads:

“Pfizer’s misrepresentations about its COVID-19 vaccine violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and Pfizer’s consent judgments with Kansas each time Pfizer made them to a Kansas consumer, regardless of whether an individual consumer decided to receive or forgo Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Millions of Kansans heard Pfizer’s misrepresentations about its COVID-19 vaccine. For example, Pfizer administered 3,355,518 Pfizer vaccine doses in Kansas as of February 7, 2024. This accounted for more than 60% of all vaccine doses in Kansas."

Interested parties can Read the full complaint here.

This suit comes after the state of Texas filed a suit against Pfizer in November of last year for a similar reason saying it unlawfully misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine and attempting to censor public discussion of the product.” 3

To read the petition, click here.




References

1.Kansas AG sues Pfizer for misleading Kansans on COVID vaccine. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach press statement. June 17, 2024. Accessed June 18, 2024.
https://mailchi.mp/ag/kansas-ag-sues-pfizer

2. Nazzaro M. Kansas sues Pfizer over ‘misleading statements’ about COVID vaccines. The Hill. June 17, 2024. Accessed June 18, 2024.
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4726687-kansas-sues-pfizer-misleading-statements-covid-vaccine/mlite/
3. Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues Pfizer for Misrepresenting COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy and Conspiring to Censor Public Discourse. Attorney General Ken Paxton press statement. November 23, 2023. Accessed June 18, 2024.
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/attorney-general-ken-paxton-sues-pfizer-misrepresenting-covid-19-vaccine-efficacy-and-conspiring
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