U.S. COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has faced a grilling in a Senate Estimates hearing in Australia as executives doubled down on the safety of their shot and failed to explain how it causes myocarditis and pericarditis.
On Aug. 3, Pfizer executives appeared before the Education and Employment Legislation Committee, which is investigating the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as part of the Australian Parliamentary inquiry.
Pfizer Australia’s country medical director, Dr. Krishan Thiru, and head of regulatory sciences, Dr. Brian Hewitt, were questioned on whether the mRNA vaccine was unequivocally safe.
They responded by saying therapeutics testing around vaccines was very thorough.
Based on our clinical trials and pharmacovigilance data as well as real-world evidence following the distribution now and billions of doses of vaccine, we retain strong confidence in the safety profile of the vaccine,” Dr. Thiru said.
However, the Australian Pfizer heads struggled to answer questions (put to them by Senator Gerard Rennick) about what exact biochemical response could lead to vaccine recipients suffering heart damage, including myocarditis and pericarditis.
Instead, Dr. Thiru said that the number of cases of myocarditis remained small globally. He also said that all therapeutic products and vaccines have benefits and side effects.
“Looking at the totality of the evidence for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, regulatory authorities, health authorities, experts globally, including in Australia within the Department of Health and the TGA, have maintained that the benefit-risk ratio,” Dr. Thiru said.