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BioNTech's CEO refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine over safety concerns.

A video from before the EU's vaccine rollout is being shared with a false narrative. Both Dr. Ugur Sahin and his wife are vaccinated.

A video on Twitter and some anti-vax websites claims that the CEO of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer BioNTech and his wife have not taken the vaccine shots due to safety concerns. However, this video has been in circulation since December 2020, before the vaccine rollout.

BioNTech is a German-based company and Pfizer's partner in COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution. Pfizer and BioNTech received their emergency use authorization of COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union on December 21, 2020. The clip being shared is from an interview Sahin gave to German media outlet DW news a day after on December 22, 2020. The interview has been edited and shared online with a false narrative.

The original video of this interview can be found on the YouTube channel of DW News. The interviewer begins by congratulating Sahin for BioNTech getting its approval for emergency use. In the video, Sahin can be heard saying that he was not yet eligible to get the vaccine as there was a priority group in Germany designated to get the vaccines first. Germany began the immunization program by prioritizing its senior citizens from December 26, 2020.

Nowhere in the DW News interview video did Sahin say that him or his wife refrained from getting the COVID-19 vaccine due to safety concerns. A Reuters report quoted an email from a BioNTech official confirming that Sahin was immunized in early 2021 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They have even reportedly received booster doses. Reuters further cited a Times-News report where Sahin and his wife confirmed that they were vaccinated against COVID-19.

The edited video in circulation is shared to discredit the vaccine's efficacy and encourage more people to refrain from getting vaccinated. According to WHO, vaccines have been rigorously tested, and all the necessary data has been analyzed before approval for emergency use.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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