For several weeks, information has been circulating on social media that after two years, Pfizer has finally “admitted” that their vaccinations cause myocarditis and pericarditis. This narrative has been shared by many accounts long known for their anti-vaccination activities, as well as by various politicians. In reality, however, it is a manipulation, and the safety level of vaccinations against COVID-19 has remained unchanged. They are still the most effective and safest form of fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The above narratives have been widely circulating on social media. The content appeared in French or Italian. In Poland, one of the first to repeat this information was Rafał Otoka-Frąckiewicz. He referred an anonymous note from the Salon24 website. Otoka-Frąckiewicz’s post was then re-shared by, among others, Piotr Witczak known spreading disinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. One of the leaders of the Confederation party, Krzysztof Bosak did the same. Following this, a graphic referring to the same information was published by the official profile of the National Movement.
Pfizer finally admitted?
Posts on social media are intended to suggest that information about the possible occurrence of myocarditis after the Pfizer vaccine is something new and sensational. They refer to a press release of September 23, 2023. In fact, it contains warnings about the possibility of the above-mentioned ailments occurring.
In reality, however, this information is not new. It can be found in the company’s press releases published since July 2021. Therefore, data on this subject has been publicly available for over two years. The note from September this year concerns the launch of a new version of the Comirnaty vaccine. American law requires that every press release about a medicinal product must include information about its safety. This is also the case here. This is nothing sensational, contrary to the suggestions of some Internet users. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends receiving COVID-19 vaccines for the 2023/24 season.
It should be clearly emphasised here that myocarditis and pericarditis as a result of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are extremely rare. Research shows that the increased risk occurs among boys between 12 and 17 years of age and among men between 18 and 29 years of age. The numbers of occurrences are 50-193 and 28-147 cases per million, respectively. This is still very little, and this is the group at greatest risk. In other age categories, this rate does not exceed 20 cases per million. It is worth adding that, as emphasised by WHO, these cases are mostly mild and do not require intensive medical care.
Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is definitely more dangerous. As another meta-analysis indicates, the risk of myocarditis as a result of COVID-19 is 7 times higher than as a result of receiving the vaccine. In addition, there are many additional complications that may occur as a result of the disease, including long-term complications (long COVID). This means that the benefits of taking the vaccine significantly outweigh the risks associated with it.
Pfizer, Grzegorz Płaczek and the EMA
A similar narrative was spread in a video by Grzegorz Płaczek, whose numerous manipulations and distortions we have refuted in our pages. He claimed that the European Medicines Agency confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines may cause myocarditis and pericarditis only in September this year.
This is not true. EMA published announcements on this matter already in July 2021. So, it did not hide this fact from the public. Moreover, the agency states that the maximum incidence is 1 in 10,000 cases, which is consistent with what we wrote earlier regarding the highest risk groups. This is still a very small number and does not exceed the safety standards of other vaccines.
Interestingly, Grzegorz Płaczek himself has already raised the issue of myocarditis as a result of receiving COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. He himself referred to alleged communications from scientific institutions. Therefore, he should be well aware that this is nothing new and the information has been widely discussed by international organisations. Nevertheless, he builds a narrative that this topic is a sensational novelty. We wrote more about Grzegorz Płaczek’s false thesis in our article.
The topic of COVID-19 vaccines, although it appears less often in the information space, still evokes a lot of emotions. From time to time, we see various claims online aimed at undermining the safety of vaccinations by using manipulation or falsified data. Both Pfizer and the EMA already reported in July 2021 about the potential risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. At the same time, these cases are very rare, and research still shows that the benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh any risks. Estimates show that vaccines have saved the lives of millions of people around the world.
AFP Factuel: https://factuel.afp.com/doc.afp.com.33Z334G
DPA Factchecking: https://dpa-factchecking.com/belgium/231023-99-671349/