Why People Don’t Trust Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine.

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Michael Shermer, a famous skeptic, was forced to admit that one of the reasons is that some of them are true. In his research he found that the fact that some conspiracy theories are real feeds people’s suspicion and makes them susceptible to the belief in others that are far less credible.

We are increasingly herded into taking a hard line on issues which are nuanced. One example of this is an apparent increase in two camps: some people are entirely against mainstream medicine while others will bend over backwards to mount an extreme defense of the indefensible excesses of Big Pharma.

Drugs save lives. Drugs are dangerous. These should not be controversial statements, nor do they contradict one another. According to the American Medical Association’s own figures, medical care has become the third leading cause of death in the United States,1 yet few would advocate a return to a time before we had modern medical care.2

When the government is buying the drug no matter what and those companies are protected from liability for damages that may be caused by those drugs, it ceases to be surprising that people may question whether what is being offered up to them is safe or not. One of the reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories about Big Pharma is because some of them are true.

Some of Pfizer’s History

A 2004 advert for Zoloft claimed that over 16 million Americans were affected by social anxiety disorder. But here’s the thing: a study conducted by Pfizer (the manufacturer) discovered that participants did a lot better overcoming social anxiety with “exposure therapy,” including counseling with a primary care doctor about their symptoms and homework to learn how to identify and break through social habits and fears, did better than people who took their drug.3

When the Upjohn Company (now Pfizer) developed Minoxidil, a drug that was originally manufactured to lower blood pressure, they found that it could cause hair regrowth in some balding patients. So they simply switched the marketed effect for the so-called side effect, and they had a drug for balding which just so happened to lower blood pressure.4

The ALLHAT Study (Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attacks Trial), was intended to compare the effectiveness of four drugs in preventing complications form high blood pressure. It was originally intended to continue for between four and eight years, but part of it was stopped prematurely because those participants assigned to Cardura (manufactured by Pfizer) were developing significantly more cardiovascular complications than those taking a diuretic.

At the time the results were published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), about $800 million worth of Cardura was being sold each year—but the diuretic was proving more effective at preventing high blood pressure complications at a seventh of the cost. Taking advantage of the fact that most doctors weren’t aware of the research, Pfizer hired damage-control consultants.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) issued a press release recommending that doctors “discontinue use” of Cardura but mere hours later downgraded its wording to “reassess.” Could this be something to do with Pfizer contributing more than $500,000 a year to the ACC?5

Whoever funds the study comes out on top. Companies commonly use positive results from head-to-head trials to encourage doctors to prescribe their drug rather than a competitor’s. When the authors of a Journal of Psychiatry survey looked at the trials, they found a curious thing: in five trials that were paid for by Eli Lilly, its drug Zyprexa came out looking superior to Risperdal, a drug made by the company Janssen. But when Janssen sponsored its own trials, Risperdal was the winner three out of four times. When it was Pfizer funding the studies, its drug Geodon was best. In fact, this tendency for the sponsor’s drug to come out on top held true for 90 percent of the more than thirty trials in the survey.6

A 2017 article noted that “prices for U.S. made pharmaceuticals have climbed over the past decade six times as far as the cost of goods and services overall.”7 In a famous case Mylan was able to increase the price of the EpiPen by more than 450 percent, adjusting for inflation, between 2004 and 2016—despite the epinephrine in each injection costing only around $1—because they were the only legal supplier of the product.8 This example, while extreme, is unfortunately not exceptional. Pfizer, Biogen, Gilead Sciences, Amgem, AbbieVie, Turing Pharmaceutical, Envizo, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (to name a few) all seem to have benefited from price gouging by obtaining legally protected monopoly power over certain healthcare products.9

The covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer—having bypassed the usual 5–10 years of safety testing—may well be completely harmless, but so long as this kind of tomfoolery continues to be common within the medical field we can expect ever more skeptical people to be labeled by their critics as “antivaxx.”

Pfizer set a record for the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind with $2.3 billion in 2009. The online website Corporate Research Project includes a Pfizer Rap Sheet detailing a number of the controversies they have been involved in.



  • 1.Ray Sipherd, “The Third-Leading Cause of Death in US Most Doctors Don’t Want You to Know About,” CNBC, Feb. 22, 2018, http://bit.ly/100_errors.
  • 2.In their famous report, To Err Is Human, the Institute of Medicine estimated that while 98,000 Americans are killed each year by medical errors, between 90,000 and 400,000 patients are harmed or killed by the innocent use of drugs. They either received the wrong drug, the wrong dose of the right drug, or two drugs that interacted in the wrong way. Institute of Medicine, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, ed. Linda T. Kohn, Janet M. Corrigan, and Molla S. Donaldson (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2000).
  • 3.John Abramson, Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine (New York: Harper Perennial, 2013), p. 232–33.
  • 4.Doug McGuff and Robert P. Murphy, Primal Prescription: Surviving the “Sick Care” Sinkhole (n.p.: Primal Nutrition, 2015), p. 65.
  • 5.Abramson, Overdosed America, p. 108–09.
  • 6.Shannon Brownlee, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (New York: Bloomsbury, 2008), p. 230.
  • 7.Robert Pearl, “New Checks and Balances For Big Pharma,” The Health Care Blog, May 12, 2017, http://bit.ly/New_Checks.
  • 8.Charles Silver and David A. Hyman, Overcharged: Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2018), p. 28.
  • 9.Silver and Hyman, Overcharged, pp. 25–30.

This article is republished and can be found in it’s original form here……


Antony Sammeroff

Antony Sammeroff co-hosts the Scottish Liberty Podcast and has featured prominently on other libertarian themed shows including The Tom Woods ShowLions of LibertySchool Sucks Podcast, and many more. His book Universal Basic Income — For and Against (with a foreword by Robert P. Murphy) is available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle. His previous self-help book Procrastination Annihilation is free to download from BeYourselfAndLoveIt.com. Antony blogs on economic issues at SeeingNotSeen.Blogspot.com and his articles have also been published by the Scottish Libertarian Party, the Cobden Centre, The BackbencherThe Rational Rise, and ActualAnarchy.com. He is a member of the Scottish Libertarian Party.



3 responses to “Why People Don’t Trust Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine.”

  1. Izzi mackenzie-millar Avatar
    Izzi mackenzie-millar

    Hello, your article proved to be interesting and it was a great reminder of what has happened in back history with Pfizer and to ask the question, what is wrong with the CoV19 vaccine that the gov are rolling out?
    I, for one, cannot take the Oxford Astra-Seneca due to my COPD . ( not all COPD sufferers have smoked, just in case someone shouts out, you must be a smoker!)
    I’m the gene therapy vaccine above, there are an awful lot of dangerous chemicals that you will find in COSSH chemical manuals. L-histidine, L-histdine hydrochloride monohydrate. These are just two of a list of chemicals listed on the gov website. These two alone would really affect my health in such a detrimental way that I would most probably have to be hospitalised. The side effects of this these chemicals blindness and the big worry for me is serious respiratory problems. I can’t take that risk. The thing is, why would you put chemical in a research vaccine knowing it can cause serious respiratory problems ? The company and gov are trying to claim that everyone should get it to help save everyone? Why is there a number (not my BUS number) next to my name because I refused the vaccine? Seemingly nurse said gov wanted it. What the hell for? Am I going to be sent off somewhere, am I going to be brainwashed to change my way of thinking so I will eventually take the research vaccine? Maybe you can help , maybe no one can?

  2. Izzi Mackenzie-Millar Avatar
    Izzi Mackenzie-Millar

    Sorry ‘re the spelling mistakes. Zeneca,COSHH,NHS. I am trying to get used to this predictive text.

  3. Izzi Mackenzie-millar Avatar
    Izzi Mackenzie-millar

    Spelling mistakes Zeneca , COSHH , N H S

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *