The Pfizer Corporation, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, has filed an application with the FDA to permit its Covid vaccine for kids ages 5-11. Pfizer is requesting that their vaccine be released as a “routine” product – not one that needs prior authorization before it can be sold. The FDA will take up Pfizer’s request on October 12th at a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.”
With the vaccine industry generating $24 billion in global revenues, it is hardly surprising that Big Pharma would want to get its hands on the increased profits promised by a federal mandate requiring all kids to be vaccinated with multiple doses of their products. Nor should it come as any surprise that the pharmaceutical companies are pushing for “universal” vaccination, when there is already an enormous unmet need for new and improved vaccines. Since 1980, only 18 new vaccines have been developed and brought to market in the U.S., despite great expectations that this figure would rise dramatically with advances in modern technology. The problem seems not to be one of science or even money–after all, drug companies are free to manufacture new vaccines today at will–but rather of finding and inducing people to use them.
The pharmaceutical companies hope that the prospect of required vaccination will provide enough incentive for parents and children to overcome their resistance to following their recommendations, despite widespread doubts about vaccine safety and effectiveness. However, the industry’s lobbying group (the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association or PhRMA) has been accused of hiding behind “health care reform” in order to ramrod its agenda through Congress without proper debate.  And while health care reformers would like us all to believe that it is designed simply to benefit public health, the Big Pharma Lobby claims the real goal of universal vaccination is “to raise revenues.”
Conflict-of-interest disclosures filed with the FDA show that four out of the six members of the committee that will advise the agency on its Covid vaccine decision have financial ties to Pfizer. In addition, two other members appear to share at least one member’s medical specialty as well as stock ownership in a pharmaceutical company. For example, Dr. Jane Seward is Director of the Division of Viral Diseases within CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She also owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur, a French vaccine manufacturer that makes a rotavirus vaccine. Another owner of GSK shares, Caroline Bynum, is a pediatrician contracted to conduct clinical trials for companies like Pfizer.
The potential for conflicts of interest with advisory committee members who own stock in vaccine manufacturers is obvious, especially since the CDC has a direct stake in promoting that industry’s profitability. However, there are even more concerns about the ability of pharma-friendly panelists to objectively evaluate this product because of their shared professional backgrounds and interests. Covid is an intra-nasal vaccine designed to block transmission of pertussis (whooping cough) by targeting Bordetella parapertussis , which causes milder symptoms but is frequently diagnosed as B. pertussis . While it was developed after standard pertussis vaccines failed to control outbreaks among teens and adults, many believe it will be no panacea due to lower vaccine efficacy.
One of the most controversial aspects of the vaccine is its reported failure to protect against common strains of B. parapertussis , which suggests that over time, it will actually increase the incidence of pertussis. This may help explain why some European governments have refused to license the vaccine for use on public health grounds, citing lack of long-term effectiveness and safety data. However, Pfizer has steadfastly defended Covid in spite of mounting evidence that it does not work properly or safely, while underplaying reports that some children given the vaccine contracted whooping cough despite being fully immunized. One can only imagine how much more aggressive their campaign would be if they had a direct stake in its success!