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A conspiracy-minded Facebook friend recently linked to the (Australian) Therapeutics Goods Administration's Batch release assessment of COVID-19 vaccines.

It lists seven batches of the COMIRNATY vaccine (e.g. batches FF0884*, FA4598* and FE3064*) from mid 2021 which are marked as "Not tested". In the remarks it says:

OCABR Reviewed. Limited batch quantity allocated for use in Pfizer Australia employee vaccination program

This has been highlighted by several sites. For example, the substack Unacceptable Jessica conjectures that a third of the vaccinations are placebos. The commenters suggest the employees did not receive the regular vaccine.

The HotStar suggests some batches were manufactured with "substantively different processes" to the ones used by the public - "clinical" versus "commercial". It suggests that the "clinical" were less risky vaccines. (It goes on to say that the Pfizer Employees were given commercial variants - the one most of the public received, so I was left a little confused by their claims.)

Did Pfizer Australia employees receive COVID vaccinations from batches that were different (in manufacturing processes, quality, effectiveness, etc) from the more widely-available batches give to the public?

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  • And if Pfizer just says "no", how credible is that? It seems unlikely this would have been investigated independently. Mar 25, 2023 at 2:27
  • OTOH here's a batch release assessment from the gov't here: tga.gov.au/batch-release-assessment-covid-19-vaccines But it so happens that e.g. FF0884 was "not tested", which is probably what caused this kind of rumour to spread in the first place. (Actually there are two entries for the lot, only the 12/08/2021 one was "not tested", the 15/07/2021 was "passed".) Mar 25, 2023 at 2:31
  • FA4598 was entirely "not tested". Seemingly all the remarked as "OCABR Reviewed. Limited batch quantity allocated for use in Pfizer Australia employee vaccination program" were not tested. Mar 25, 2023 at 2:36
  • If anything however, this page says that regulators were concerned with the opposite, that the commercial vaccine was worse. Which might be why they started testing each batch. OTOH that page goes into some bullshit speculation at the end that that might lead more deaths from the commercial vaccine (but not as a result of its ineffectiveness). Mar 25, 2023 at 2:40
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    @Oddthinking Sahin is the CEO of Biontech who developed the mRNA vaccine that was sold under the name Pfizer. Pfizer performed clinical trials and production, the research and development was done by Biontech. The mRNA competitor is the company Moderna. I didn't look closer at the interview, but I don't think it represents unethical behaviour as ensuring the production of the vaccines is not disrupted by COVID has value for the entire population, Biontech is critical infrastructure and those also had priority access to vaccines under various rules.
    – Mad Scientist
    Mar 25, 2023 at 16:12

1 Answer 1

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In machine translation (feel free to improve) from a rather lengthy "fact check" (in German) by Agence France-Presse (oddly enough) that also covers many other topics:

Will Pfizer employees in Australia receive separate batches of vaccine?

Finally, the video refers to the allocation of vaccine batches in Australia. According to this, Pfizer employees and their families would receive different batches under the so-called "Pfizer Australia employee vaccination program" than the general population. This is according to data from the Australian pharmaceutical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The Pfizer employee program does exist. [...] However, the vaccines used there are the same as those given to the Australian population. When asked by AFP on February 7, a TGA spokesman said: "The batches used as part of the Australian vaccination program for Pfizer employees are no different from the other vaccine batches supplied and the batches used for the general population in Australia were used."

In addition, some batches from the Pfizer program were also used in the general population. The spokesman continued: "All batches of Pfizer Corona vaccine, including those supplied as part of Pfizer Australia's employee immunization program, must be manufactured in accordance with TGA assessed and approved GMP certified manufacturing practices."

The current TGA list now also includes an addition to employee batches. They are now marked as "OCABR Reviewed". This is a separate process in which vaccine batches in the EU are tested and certified by testing authorities in the OCABR network, such as the Paul Ehrlich Institute. A spokesman for the TGA confirmed that the deliveries for the Pfizer program had also been checked by the European OCABR. Countries outside Europe also use the certificates from Europe for vaccine testing, explains the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) on its website.

The TGA spokesman explained the addition to the TGA list: The test process was described in more detail on the website in order to "avoid the false assumption that no batch test was carried out". However, the status of the batches has not changed.

The test does not necessarily have to be carried out by the TGA if a trustworthy laboratory abroad has already tested the batch. According to the TGA spokesman, there were no problems with the OCABR test. If the OCABR test is successful, the vaccine batches can also be used in Australia.

There is no evidence for the differences claimed [by "Klagemauer TV" website] in vaccine batches.

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