Pfizer’s CEO has had Covid-19 vaccine

25 January 2022
What was claimed

Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla hasn’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 because he is “healthy” and doesn’t want to “cut the line”.

Our verdict

Mr Bourla said this in December 2020. He has since publicly shared pictures of him being vaccinated against Covid-19.

A video reel shared to Instagram on 23 January claims that the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, has not had a Covid-19 vaccine because he doesn’t want to “cut the line”.

A watermark on the video indicates it was taken from TikTok, but the original account which posted the video now appears to have been deleted or suspended. However, Full Fact found other versions of the clip with thousands of likes still live on the social media site. 

There is no mention in the Instagrampost of the fact that Mr Bourla’s interview with CNBC, shown in the clip, actually took place more than a year ago on 14 December 2020. In fact, many people commenting on it seem to think that the clip is much more recent.

As we have written before Mr Bourla publicly shared on 10 March 2021 that he had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. It was reported in October 2021 that he had also received a booster dose of the vaccine. 

The Instagram video shows Mr Bourla being asked when he plans to have his Covid-19 vaccination, to which he replies: “The sooner I can I will. The only sensitivity that I don’t want to have an example that I am cutting the line.

“I am 59-years-old, I am in good health, I’m not working in the frontline so my type is not recommended to get vaccination [sic].” 

The video cuts just before Mr Bourla says: “My type is not recommended to get vaccination now”. The removal of this word changes the meaning of the sentence, from people in Mr Bourla’s situation being recommended for vaccination at all, to people in a similar position just not being prioritised for the vaccine at the time he spoke. 

The vaccination rollout in the US (where Mr Bourla lives) began on 14 December 2020, the same day the interview took place. As in the UK, healthcare workers and the most elderly and vulnerable people were prioritised for vaccination ahead of other population groups. 

Image courtesy of Spencer Davis, via Unsplash. 

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.