Presidential candidate references dismissed vaccine lawsuit as evidence of pharmaceutical industry’s profits from vaccine-related injuries

A video of a presidential candidate claiming that the pharmaceutical industry derives profits from the sale of medications intended to address alleged vaccine-related injuries is circulating on social media. The candidate referenced the 1986 Vaccine Injury Act, which resulted from the dismissed claim against Wyeth (now Pfizer) for vaccine injury claims. According to the candidate, pharmaceutical companies have been able to create and market remedies for vaccine-induced injuries, resulting in substantial financial gains.

Risk level: High

Recommendation: These social media posts may promote vaccine hesitancy. While these types of claims primarily circulate in vaccine opponent circles, the widespread nature of these posts elevates the risk. It is recommended doctors be prepared to answer questions about routine vaccine safety. Messaging may emphasize that across multiple studies, vaccines and their ingredients have been shown to be safe; that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks across age groups; and that vaccines prevent severe illness and death from vaccine-preventable diseases.