A newly released document does not reveal ‘side effects’ of the Pfizer vaccine

23 March 2022
What was claimed

A newly published document lists side effects from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Our verdict

This is not true. The document lists adverse events reported after vaccination, which may not have been caused by the vaccine. It also says these adverse events raise no safety concerns.

Several widely shared and viewed posts on Facebook and Instagram have falsely claimed that a newly published document shows a list of “side effects” from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

This is not true. The document, which was produced by Pfizer, actually shows a list of reported “adverse events” following vaccination.

The US Food and Drug Administration defines an adverse event as “any untoward medical occurrence in a patient or clinical investigation subject administered a pharmaceutical product and which does not necessarily have a causal relationship with this treatment ”.

It is therefore wrong to call the conditions in this document “side effects”, because many may not be effects of the vaccine.

The document itself concludes that the data raises no safety concerns.

The document details the safety of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, after it had received emergency authorisation in the US and before it had received a full licence. It was released in response to a Freedom of Information request in the US.

For more information about the data and what it means, please read our previous fact check on this Pfizer document

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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