Have ‘1 in 9 Vaccinated Adolescents Suffered a Severe Adverse Reaction’ From the Pfizer Vaccine?

Update, January 12, 2022: The Physcians for Informed Consent updated its post to describe “severe adverse events” as reactogenicity. We removed our “partly false” rating from the Facebook post.

A viral Facebook post from Physicians for Informed Consent, self-described as a “nonprofit organization focused on science and statistics,” claims that “1 in 9 vaccinated adolescents suffered a severe adverse reaction” from the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. 

This is a false claim.

The clinical trial data PIC links to in their Short-Term Efficacy & Safety Data sheet shows not 1 in 9 vaccinated trial participants experiencing serious adverse events, but 5 out of 1,131—or roughly .4 percent of trial participants who received the vaccine. The CDC defines a serious adverse event as “Death, life-threatening event, hospitalization, incapacity to perform normal life functions, medically important event, or congenital anomaly/birth defect.” None of the serious adverse events reported in the clinical trials were determined by the FDA to be related to the study.

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