Fact Check: Pfizer CEO HAS Had Vaccine -- Old Interview Is Taken Out Of Context

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Pfizer CEO HAS Had Vaccine -- Old Interview Is Taken Out Of Context Old Interview

Did the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, recently explain why he hasn't gotten the COVID-19 vaccine yet? No, that's not true: The video in this post is an outdated interview from 2020. That's when Bourla said he was waiting his turn as he did not meet the criteria due to emergency rollout measures for those in the priority groups. As of August 10, 2021, Lead Stories confirmed that Bourla had been fully vaccinated since March 2021.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post on January 3, 2022. Beside an interview clip featuring Bourla, published initially on TikTok, the text in the video reads:

He didn't get THE Syringe on Samsung One UI 4.0Syringe on Samsung One UI 4.0Syringe on Samsung One UI 4.0 cuz he knows it's deadly Skull Emoji PNG Images, Free Transparent Skull Emoji Download - KindPNG

Pfizer CEO Explain Why He Hasn't Taken The Vaccine Syringe on Apple iOS 14.6

His own words!

This is what the Instagram post looked like on January 5, 2022:

Pfizer CEO Not Vaccinated Image.png

The video in this post features a portion of a December 14, 2020, CNBC interview. At 18:30 in the interview, the part recorded in the post begins:

TIRRELL: Well, and a question for you. I've heard you have not yet had your shot. When do you plan to get it?

BOURLA: As soon as I can, I will. The only sensitivity here, Meg, is that I don't want to have an example that I'm cutting the line. I'm 59 years old in good health, I'm not working in the front line. And so, my type is not recommended to get vaccination now. So that's one consideration. On the other hand, our company ran a lot of polls to see what would take people to believe it. And one of the highest ranking -- even higher than if Joe Biden takes it, even higher than if the other presidents take it -- is if the CEO of the company takes it. So with that in mind, I'm trying to find a way that I will get vaccinated despite if it is not my time just to demonstrate the confidence of the company. But we have made the decision that if we have to do that, we will not do it with our executives. So none of the executives and board members will cut the line. They will take it as their age and occupation type is the time for them to take it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CNBC had reported before this interview that the priority group was health care professionals, nursing home residents and staff, the elderly and other front-line workers.

Lead Stories previously reported that Bourla had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccination on March 10, 2021. Lead Stories sought background on the situation from Pfizer. Faith Salamon, a senior manager representing Pfizer Global Relations, wrote in an August 9, 2021, email:

I can confirm Albert Bourla is fully vaccinated.

Here is an embedded copy of the tweet in which Bourla announced his second shot:

bourla shot.png

This claim similarly appears in another Lead Stories fact check titled, "BioNTech CEO Did NOT Refuse To 'Take The Jab' where we reported that Dr. Ugur Sahin had been vaccinated since January 2021.

In a September 14, 2021, interview, Sahin said of his and his wife's concerns over their place in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout schedule at the time:

Was it not better ethically for me to wait until my age group's turn to get vaccinated? But everyone told me to go ahead and do it. We had no side effects. Our vaccine's safety profile is similar to the others. So it is a perfectly fine vaccine.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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