Fact Check: Does the Pfizer Covid vaccine have 12% efficacy?

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Quick Take

Multiple social media posts have claimed that the safety document by Pfizer shows that its Covid vaccine has 12% efficacy. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.

The Claim

A Twitter user wrote, “Pfizer document drop with 80k pages revealing Pfizer vaccine has only 12% efficacy rate and extremely dangerous for pregnant women. For this vaccine pappu an his LeLi gang did protest”.

The screenshot the post is attached down-below:

Similar social media posts are available on Twitter and have gathered many retweets and likes.

Likewise, social media users have posted on Facebook as well.

A Facebook user wrote, “Now you know why Pfizer wasn’t allowed access in India. It’s just a terror organisation in the name of western capitalism  Pfizer document drop with 80k pages revealing Pfizer vaccine has only 12% efficacy rate and extremely dangerous for pregnant women. Agreements with Govts & sovereign guarantees in almost all countries puts beyond class action lawsuits. Thank you @narendramodi for saving India”.

The screenshot the post is attached down-below:

Fact Check

Does the Pfizer Covid vaccine have 12% efficacy?

It does not seem so. No credible evidence published online confirms Pfizer Covid vaccine has a 12% efficacy. The available evidence only suggests that the Pfizer Covid has 95% efficacy.

The Healthy Indian Project (THIP Media) has already shown that the claim of ‘12% vaccine’ might have arisen from a Substack article published by Sonia Elijah, an independent British journalist for Trial Site News. 

Substack is a subscription newsletter tool that allows everyone to become a writer and make money from subscriptions. 

It is not clear within Sonia Elijah’s Substack article whether the participants underwent a PCR test. A document on clinical trial protocols released by Pfizer clearly states that the diagnosis can be made only using a PCR test. Besides this, the Substack article has calculated the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine using ‘suspected but unconfirmed’ cases where the calculations should have been made using ‘confirmed’ cases.

A report by Pfizer shows that participants of their Covid study protocol having symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, cough, chills, sore throat and diarrhoea were confirmed to Covid using a PCR test. This process of testing has not been followed in the Substack article. 

The available evidence suggests that covid vaccines have a great efficacy against covid vaccines.

What does 95% Covid-19 vaccine efficacy mean?

95% efficacy of Covid vaccine means that the vaccine has shown 95% success in preventing the spread of Covid virus in those without prior infection and a minimum of seven days after the second booster dose. A (2021) study published in THELANCET states that 95% efficacy “means that in a population such as the one enrolled in the trials, with a cumulated COVID-19 attack rate over a period of 3 months of about 1% without a vaccine, we would expect roughly 0·05% of vaccinated people would get diseased. It does not mean that 95% of people are protected from disease with the vaccine”.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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