Albert Bourla made the comments while speaking to the Atlantic Council, a Washington D.C.=based think-tank with a focus on foreign policy.
His company is the distributor of the most commonly used Covid vaccine in the U.S., and has negotiated vaccine sales worth millions of dollars with nations around the world.
Vaccine misinformation has become rampant in the U.S., with millions of Americans believing false claims about the jabs such as them causing infertility and that they contain a microchip.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told a small group on Tuesday that people who publish misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines are ‘criminals’, according to a CNBC report. Pictured: Bourla speaks at at opening ceremony for a new Pfizer facility in Thessaloniki, Greece on October 12
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the most commonly used jab in the United States, and has been used to fully vaccinated 104 million out of 194 million fully immunized Americans (file image)
‘Those people are criminals,’ Bourla told Frederick Kempe, Atlantic Council CEO, and a ‘very small’ group, according to CNBC.
‘They’re not bad people. They’re criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives.’
While a majority of Americans have received the COVID-19 vaccine, misinformation is likely playing a role in decisions made by the remaining unvaccinated people.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 70 percent are fully vaccinated.
More than half, 107 million, of the 194 million fully vaccinated Americans have received two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
While the number of fully vaccinated Americans continues to slowly increase, the number of U.S. residents who do not plan to get the jab is rising as well.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Vaccine Monitor, 16 percent of American adults will ‘definitely not’ get vaccinated, as of October.
That is the highest total since the vaccines were first approved by regulators last December.
Part of the reason for many Americans’ hesitancy to getting jabbed is the misinformation Bourla speaks of.
According to a recent survey by KFF, nearly 80 percent of Americans believe at least one common piece of misinformation about the Covid pandemic or the vaccines.
Common falsehoods believed about the vaccines include that it harms pregnant women, that deaths from the jabs are being covered up, that they shots cause infertility, they contain a microchip and that the shots can change DNA.
Much of this misinformation is frequently spread on social media channels, scaring many out of getting a shot that has been deemed safe and effective at preventing severe illness or death from Covid.
Another KFF analysis found that around 90,000 COVID-19 deaths from June to September could have been prevented by the jab.
Nearly 80% of Americans believe or are unsure about at least one falsehood about Covid, with the most common being that the government is exaggerating overall death totals
A KFF analysis finds that more than 90,000 deaths in the U.S. between June and September of 2021 – 80% of total deaths – could have been prevented by the COVID-19 vaccines
Bourla told his audience that not only can the vaccine prevent these deaths, but also help the world return to the previous way of life.
‘The only thing that stands between the new way of life and the current way of life is, frankly, hesitancy to vaccinations,’ he said.
Pfizer also soon hopes to gain authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for all Americans aged 18 or older and submitted a request to the FDA on Tuesday/
The additional shot is already available to all Americans aged 65 or older, with a underlying condition or with a job that puts them at an increased risk of Covid exposure.