FACT CHECK: Was Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Forced to Cancel Israel Trip Because He Isn't Vaccinated?

A viral claim suggesting that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla's recent trip to Israel was cancelled as he was not vaccinated is found to be a hoax. The truth is that Bourla received his second dose of COVID-19 on March 10.

Anti-vaxxers have been propagating false claims related to vaccine, with few theories claiming that mRNA in the vaccine alters the human DNA.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla Twitter

How Did the Hoax Start?

The USA Today reported that the fake claim first appeared in a Facebook post made on August 8. The page, Freedom Fighters posted an image of Bourla. The caption on the image read, "CEO of Pfizer had to cancel a planned trip to Israel because he wasn't fully vaccinated."

The user wrote, "Um what?! The Pfizer CEO hasn't been fully vaccinated? How does that help boost confidence in the vaccine if he hasn't taken it?!"

The Lead Stories reported that a similar claim was also made by Newsmax reporter Emerald Robinson in a tweet on August 5. "The CEO of Pfizer had to cancel a planned trip to Israel because he was not fully vaccinated. Let me repeat: BECAUSE HE WAS NOT VACCINATED," the tweet read. However, in another tweet, Robinson wrote, "Update: The CEO of Pfizer announced on social media that he got his second vaccination shot on March 10."

There were a lot of social media users who fell prey to the hoax. "The ceo of Pfizer was denied entry in to Israel well Palestine because he was not vaccinated , you want me to repeat that again," wrote a Twitter user.

"He don't even trust his own stuff lol," read a tweet as another wrote, "I read yesterday that the CEO of Pfizer was denied entry into Israel for NOT being vaccinated. Let that sink in!!!!! Btw I am vaccinated."

Here is the Truth

The USA Today stated that Bourla indeed cancelled his trip to Israel due to his vaccination status, but it was in the month of March.

According to an article published by The Jerusalem Post on March 7, the Pfizer CEO had received only one dose out of the two Pfizer shots. "Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla canceled his expected visit to Israel after it turned out he has not been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Bourla, as well as members of the delegation that was meant to accompany him during his visit, have not received the second dose of the vaccine. As a result, it was decided to delay the visit by several days, which also posed a logistic challenge because of the upcoming Israeli elections," the article read.

On March 10, Bourla shared a picture while receiving the second shot of the vaccine. "Excited to receive my 2nd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech #COVID19 vaccine. There's nothing I want more than for my loved ones and people around the world to have the same opportunity. Although the journey is far from over, we are working tirelessly to beat the virus," he wrote in the tweet.