Social media post claims Pfizer is developing bird flu vaccine after Colorado dairy farmers were exposed to the virus

A recent viral social media post included a video of a Colorado representative who said that the state is monitoring dairy farmers who were exposed to bird flu. The author of the post claims that Pfizer representatives are “working closely with political leaders to develop a cure,” and questioning, “what could possibly go wrong,” implying that Pfizer is developing a bird flu vaccine that may be unsafe.

Recommendation: Thanks to an abundance of news headlines on the topic, the public has understandable concerns and many questions about bird flu. Trending narratives about bird flu allow health departments an opportunity to provide accurate information about the current H5N1 avian flu outbreak. Ensuring that community-based organizations and other partners have updated FAQs and one pagers with messaging about bird flu risk is recommended. Messaging may emphasize that infrequently, humans have contracted bird flu after coming into contact with infected animals, so avoiding contact with wild birds and with sick domestic animals is recommended. Additionally, cases of human-to-human transmission are even more rare. So far, only two human cases of bird flu have been reported in the United States. Currently, none of the dairy farmers who were exposed to bird flu are reporting symptoms of infection. The FDA approved the first human bird flu vaccine in 2007, and several others have been licensed since. Researchers have been monitoring the evolution of bird flu for years and have started to develop new vaccines in the event of a possible outbreak among humans. All vaccines are rigorously tested using strict safety standards before becoming available to the public.