The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Aug. 23, 2021. But a viral Instagram post with more than 18,000 views claims Pfizer’s chief executive officer Albert Bourla hasn’t taken a dose of his own medicine.
VERIFY viewer Dawn asked, “Did Pfizer’s CEO get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?”
Yes, Pfizer’s CEO did get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
WHAT WE FOUND
The viral Instagram post uses a snippet of a CNBC interview with Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla to make its case.
In the interview, CNBC’s senior health and science reporter Meg Tirrell asks Bourla, “I’ve heard you have not yet had your shot. When do you plan to get it?”
Bourla replies, “As soon as I can, I will. The only sensitivity here, Meg, is that I don’t want to have an example that I’m cutting the line. I’m 59 years old, in good health, I’m not working in the front line. And so, my type is not recommended to get vaccination now.”
A check of the interview transcript from CNBC shows that interview took place on Dec. 14, 2020, which is the same day the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine first became available to the public.
Bourla did eventually get vaccinated. On March 10, 2021, he shared a photo of himself on Twitter getting his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“Excited to receive my 2nd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech #COVID19 vaccine. There's nothing I want more than for my loved ones and people around the world to have the same opportunity. Although the journey is far from over, we are working tirelessly to beat the virus,” Bourla tweeted.
The VERIFY team also reached out to Pfizer’s media relations department about the Instagram claim. A spokesperson said by email that the post is “absolutely not true,” and referred us back to the Twitter photo of Bourla getting vaccinated.
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