It Is Not True That No One at Pfizer and BioNTech Has Been Vaccinated Against Covid-19
A statement by Dr Ugur Sahin, one of the founders of BioNTech, given at the end of 2020, was misused in a post to falsely claim that Pfizer and BioNTech employees, owners and directors were not vaccinated. That is not true. Ugur Sahin and his wife Ozlem Tureci, also the founder of BioNTech, said in an interview in September 2021 that they had been vaccinated in January 2021, as well as all BioNTech employees. Pfizer CEO Albert Burla was fully vaccinated in March 2021. All Pfizer employees must be vaccinated by November 15, unless they have a medical reason not to do so
We are reviewing a Facebook post claiming that the founder of BioNTech (the company that co-created the mRNA vaccine with Pfizer), Ugur Sahin, allegedly said that none of the company’s employees had received the vaccine.
The post also states that “no one at Pfizer has received their own product” (the vaccine), stating that:
All people who are familiar with the contents of the spikes, i.e. the alleged vaccines against the alleged Covid-19, and especially the employees who produce the same spikes, as well as all politicians, doctors, journalists… who agitate for vaccination and guarantee the alleged safety and efficacy, of course they will not be vaccinated or will be falsely vaccinated.
BioNTech was founded in Germany in 2008 by Turkish-German scientists Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin. BioNTech develops active drugs with a patient-specific approach to treating various diseases. In 2018, BioNTech in collaboration with Pfizer develops an mRNA vaccine to prevent swine flu. Later, the mRNA technology vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech became the first vaccine against Covid-19, which received approval for immediate use from the WHO on 31 December 2020.
On 22 December 2020, Dr Ugur Sahin in an interview with Deutsche Welle when asked why he did not receive a vaccine against Covid-19, said:
We are legally not allowed to take the vaccine. Of course, we consider. It is more important for us that our co-workers and partners get vaccinated, so our aim is to produce more that 1.3 billion doses in 2021. And this can only be done if we can continue to work 24/7 without interruption. And we have to make sure that we can protect our co-workers and our team members from COVID-19 infections, because that would mean interruptions and delays in producing vaccine doses. Therefore, we are planning to produce a separate batch from the EU contingent to supply our cooperation partners and team members.
When asked why he is not legally allowed to be vaccinated, he replied that he has a priority list.
You know, there is a priority list. It is not allowed to take the vaccine outside that priority list. What is also important: we were even not allowed to participate in clinical trials, because by law it is not possible to include people from the company in such trials, which is fine. But now we face the challenge of making sure that our company is able to function, and I believe we will find a legal and fair solution for that.
We note that the interview for Deutsche Welle is from the end of 2020, and the post we are reviewing is published a year later!
That statement from the end of 2020 was misused in the post to falsely claim that the employees, owners and directors of Pfizer and BioNTech were not vaccinated. That is not true.
In particular, Ugur Sahin, the founder of BioNTech, in an interview given later, in September 2021, confirmed that he was among the first to be vaccinated.
Not only he but also his wife Ozlem Tureci was vaccinated together with the employees of BioNTech. The two, as founders of BioNTech, said in an interview that they were vaccinated in January 2021, as well as the employees of BioNTech.
And publicly available articles from Reuters confirm that all BioNTech employees were offered voluntary vaccinations as early as January 2021, when most of the world did not even have access to the vaccines!
Pfizer CEO Albert Burla has also been fully vaccinated, with a second dose received in March 2021.
All Pfizer employees must be vaccinated by November 15, unless they have a medical reason not to do so.
Thus, we consider that the claims made in the post we are reviewing that no one from Pfizer and BioNTech received the vaccine are not true.