August 25, 2021

A clip from an interview with Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla has been circulating on social media.

In it, he was asked why he hasn’t yet received his COVID-19 vaccine. He responded that as soon as he can he will, but he doesn’t want to cut the line.

“I am 59 years old, in good health, I’m not working in the front line, so my type is not recommended to get vaccination,” he said in the interview.

It was posted on Instagram on Aug. 22 with this text: “Pfizer CEO has not yet had vaccine.”

But this interview is from December, and Bourla has since been vaccinated.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Though COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available in the United States, there were initially limited doses available, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that healthcare workers and other groups vulnerable to catching COVID-19 receive shots first.

This isn’t the first time Bourla’s comments about the COVID-19 vaccine have been taken out of context. In August, we fact-checked a claim that his trip to Israel had been scuttled because he wasn’t fully vaccinated. That was true — back in March, when he postponed the trip because he had received only the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. He received his second dose a few days after a news report about his canceled visit.

Some social media accounts posted that news as if it was new. It wasn’t.

Neither is this interview. Bourla is vaccinated against COVID-19. We rate this post False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Ciara O'Rourke is a contributing writer for PolitiFact. Previously, Ciara covered local government and public safety for the Austin American-Statesman and fact-checked elected officials and…
Ciara O'Rourke

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