An allegedly leaked vaccine supply contract between Pfizer and the government of Albania has sent some shockwaves through social media over the last few days.
It doesn’t contain any really groundbreaking information but, if it’s genuine, it certainly confirms the worst suspicions many of us had about the terms of the vaccine supply agreements.
The document was first published by the Albanian independent media outlet Gogo.al back in January, but came to prominence in the Anglosphere three days ago, when Twitter user Ehden posted a long thread breaking down its contents. His account has since been “limited” (we’ve all been there), but you can read his blog here.
In the interests of open discussion, and without endorsing its authenticity, we present the whole document below. We recommend anyone interested download it, just in case it disappears from the net, as potentially embarrassing documents tend to do.
So, is the document genuine?
That’s hard to say. It certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented for it to be a “honey trap” leak. A document that makes outlandish claims, which many in the alternate media run with, only for it to be debunked and discredit all those who reported it. It happens. It’s why you should always approach any “leak” with supreme caution.
But one argument for the contract’s authenticity is its lack of any “huge groundbreaking admission” that would be the hallmark of a fake leak.
Since it was posted by Ehden, other “contracts” have leaked, which contain similar language and clauses. But, as these aren’t 100% proven genuine either, it would be wrong to use them to corroborate each other.
Stronger evidence can be found on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Health, where they have a (heavily redacted) copy of their “REAL-WORLD EPIDEMIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE COLLABORATION AGREEMENT” with Pfizer (we downloaded a copy of that too, just in case.)
These two documents do have some strong similarities.
Under “definitions” for example, both use the same word-for-word phrasing for the definitions of “product” and “affiliate(s)”. “Intellectual Property” is very similar too. As is a lot of the language under “Term and Termination”.
That is evidence that the document could be real…OR its evidence that good sources of Pfizer’s boilerplate legal contracts are available on the internet, as a useful resource for fakers. It cuts both ways.
There’s circumstantial evidence for the document’s authenticity, of course. The fact the Twitter account discussing it was “limited” almost immediately, for example. The fact it has been on the internet for nearly seven months and hasn’t been the subject of a single official denial by either party OR a “fact check” from one of those famous “independent fact-checkers”. These are all points in its favour.
As yet, it’s hard to be certain either way. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it’s real. What does it say?
A lot of the talk so far has been about the awful financial terms, but that’s not at all unusual in state contracts with private firms. The government agrees to terrible terms for the taxpayer, whilst accepting a back-hander here or there or a cushy job in the future. It’s the way the world works.
No, really, in the fifty-two pages, there are two key paragraphs that people should focus on.
First, under section 5.5 “Purchaser Agreements” [our emphasis]:
Purchaser acknowledges that the Vaccine and materials related to the Vaccine, and their components and constituent materials are being rapidly developed due to the emergency circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be studied after provision of the Vaccine to Purchaser under this Agreement. Purchaser further acknowledges that the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known. Further, to the extent applicable, Purchaser acknowledges that the Product shall not be serialized.
This is simply logically irrefutable. Chemicals that have existed for less than year, by definition, have unknown long-term effects. (Which, incidentally, is what we got banned from Twitter for saying yesterday).
Second, under section 8.1 “Indemnification by the Purchaser” [again, our emphasis]
Purchaser hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Pfizer, BioNTech, each of their Affiliates, contractors, sub-contractors, licensors, licensees, sub-licensees, distributors, contract manufacturers, services providers, clinical trial researchers, third parties to whom Pfizer or BioNTech or any of their respective Affiliates may directly or indirectly owe an indemnity based on the research, development, manufacture, distribution, commercialization or use of the Vaccine, and each of the officers, directors, employees and other agents and representatives, and the respective predecessors, successors and assigns of any of the foregoing (“Indemnitees”), from and against any and all suits, claims, actions, demands, losses, damages, liabilities, settlements, penalties, fines, costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other expenses of an investigation or litigation), whether sounding in contract, tort, intellectual property, or any other theory, and whether legal, statutory, equitable or otherwise (collectively, “Losses”) arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the Vaccine, including but not limited to any stage of design, development, investigation, formulation, testing, clinical testing, manufacture, labeling, packaging, transport, storage, distribution, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, licensing, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administration, provision, or use of the Vaccine.
Essentially Pfizer is totally protected from any legal liability in the event their vaccine actually does have any of those aforementioned “adverse effects that are not currently known”. A later paragraph even says that the government must pay Pfizer’s legal fees in the event they get sued.
And there’s no reason, at all, to think this would be just an Albania thing. Clearly, if they included it in this contract, they included it in every contract. In South Africa, for example, it is known Pfizer demanded sovereign assets as be used collateral for their legal indemnity.
To sum up, if the document is real, Pfizer’s vaccine distribution contracts:
- Acknowledge their product may not work.
- Admit it might have unknown harmful effects.
- Recognisess they are likely to be sued if that’s the case.
- Ensures legal protection of their huge profits.
We knew all that already. But it’s always good to get it in writing.