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Fact-Checking a Claim About the Pfizer CEO’s Vaccination Status
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Fact-Checking a Claim About the Pfizer CEO’s Vaccination Status

A Newsmax correspondent tweeted a story about Albert Bourla without noting it was from March.

Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson went viral on Twitter with a claim that the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, has not been vaccinated against coronavirus. 

Robinson linked to an article from the Jerusalem Post reporting that Bourla had to cancel a visit to Israel because he had not been fully vaccinated. The article was published on March 7, 2021, and notes that Bourla had received his first dose but not the second at the time. Bourla said in December 2020 that he would not “cut in line” to receive the vaccine early simply because of his status as the head of Pfizer, and instead would wait until he was eligible based on his age group. Axios reported on March 7 that Bourla said in an interview that he felt “liberated” after recently getting the first dose of his company’s vaccine. On March 10, Bourla tweeted a picture of himself receiving his second dose of the vaccine. 

When asked about Robinson’s tweet, Steven Danehy, director of media relations at Pfizer, told The Dispatch Fact Check: “That is categorically false. Dr. Bourla has been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.”

Per CDC guidelines, you’re not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after you receive the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Robinson noted several hours after her initial tweet that “The CEO of Pfizer announced on social media that he got his second vaccination shot on March 10,” but still gave no clarification that the canceled trip to Israel was to have occurred in March. When this fact check was published, the misleading tweet had 8,400 retweets and nearly 13,000 likes. The follow-up tweet had approximately 200 and 680, respectively.

The Dispatch Fact Check contacted  Robinson and Newsmax for comment but neither responded. 

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.