Pfizer has said there is zero evidence to support the claim. Image by Con Chronis/AAP PHOTOS

No, Pfizer bosses did not admit to giving workers materially different COVID vaccine

Tom Wark May 28, 2024

Pfizer representatives told a senate hearing that employees in Australia received a materially different "special batch" of the COVID vaccine.


False. The Pfizer representatives said no such thing.

Pfizer bosses told an Australian Senate hearing that a “special batch” of materially different COVID-19 vaccines were imported for its employees, social media users claim.

This is false. Pfizer representatives told the hearing the company imported a separate batch for its employees – so as not to diminish government stocks.

They made no suggestion that the vaccine was in any way different from that given to the Australian public.

The false claim is being spread in an article by The People’s Voice, a US-based misinformation site.

Posts on Facebook linking to the article have been shared widely

Crossed out Facebook post making claim about Pfizer employees.
 One of the many Facebook posts making the incorrect claim. 

“A Pfizer Australia spokesperson previously admitted company employees were given a ‘special batch,’ materially different to the vaccine mandated upon the rest of the population,” the article reads.

“The shocking revelation came during a Senate hearing in Australia, when the Pfizer spokesperson revealed that the Big Pharma giant imported a ‘special batch’ of COVID-19 vaccines solely for their employee vaccination program.”

The official transcript and video of the August 3, 2023 hearing tells a different story.

At the hearing, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts asked the Pfizer representatives (18:04:58): “We’ve read that your vaccine mandate was using your own batch of vaccine especially imported for Pfizer, which was not tested by the TGA. Is that correct?”

Dr Brian Hewitt, head of regulatory sciences at Pfizer Australia, responded: “Pfizer undertook to import our batch of vaccines specifically for the employee vaccination program. 

“That was so that no vaccine would be taken from government stocks. It was being delivered to clinics as needed.”

Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box.
 Pfizer said it didn’t want vaccines for employees to come out of government stocks. 

In a statement to AAP FactCheck, Pfizer said the employee batches were “exactly the same vaccine as those provided to the broader community”.

“Pfizer chose to provide extra doses to the amount secured by the Commonwealth in the advance purchase agreement so that Pfizer employees would not draw down on Australian stocks.” 

The People’s Voice makes further false, debunked claims in the same article, including about the vaccination status of the CEO of BioNTech, the company that developed the vaccine alongside Pfizer.

The article states: “Dr Ugur Sahin … admitted on camera that he did not get jabbed with the Covid vaccine either.”

This claim has been debunked by several outlets, including USA Today, Snopes and Check Your Fact.

The Verdict

The claim that Pfizer representatives told a senate hearing that employees in Australia received a materially different “special batch” of the COVID vaccine is false.

The representatives told the hearing they imported a separate batch for company employees so as not to diminish government stocks.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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