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Pfizer is sued by Texas over COVID-19 vaccine claims

By Jonathan Stempel

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Pfizer has been sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who on Thursday accused the drugmaker of misrepresenting the efficacy of its widely-used COVID-19 vaccine.

In a complaint filed in a Lubbock County state court, Paxton said it was misleading for Pfizer to claim its vaccine was 95% effective because it offered a "relative risk reduction" for people to who took it.

Paxton said the claim was based on only two months of clinical trial data, and that the pandemic got worse even after people started taking Pfizer's vaccine.

"Pfizer intentionally misrepresented the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine and censored persons who threatened to disseminate the truth in order to facilitate fast adoption of the product and expand its commercial opportunity," the complaint said.

Paxton, a Republican and critic of Biden administration efforts to fight the pandemic, added in a statement: "We are pursuing justice for the people of Texas, many of whom were coerced by tyrannical vaccine mandates to take a defective product sold by lies."

Pfizer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit seeks to stop New York-based Pfizer from making alleged false claims and silencing "truthful speech" about its vaccine, and more than $10 million in fines for violations of a Texas law protecting consumers from deceptive marketing.

It is Paxton's second lawsuit against Pfizer in November.

In a case unsealed on Nov. 21, Paxton accused Pfizer and a supplier of manipulating quality control tests, resulting in the distribution of ineffective drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)