Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Thursday announced he filed a complaint against Pfizer for misrepresenting the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Paxton says Pfizer violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act when it boasted that the vaccine was 95% effective against COVID-19 infection.

“That metric represented a calculation of the so-called ‘relative risk reduction’ for vaccinated individuals in Pfizer’s initial, two-month clinical trial results,” the attorney general said in a statement.

Relative risk reduction (RRR) is a controversial method sometimes used to measure vaccine efficacy in clinical trials. It is calculated by dividing the number of events in the experimental group by the number of events in the control group and then subtracting that number from one.

While RRR is used often by media and medical journals, it has been found to be unreliable because it sometimes over-represents a drug’s efficacy. As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains: “[W]hen information is presented in a relative risk format, the risk reduction seems large and treatments are viewed more favorably than when the same information is presented using an absolute risk format.”

The FDA considers absolute risk format to be far more accurate. According to that measure, the lawsuit says, Pfizer’s vaccine was 0.85% effective. Put differently, to prevent one case of COVID-19, 119 people had to be vaccinated.

The attorney general also noted how Pfizer only had two months of clinical trial data but nevertheless gave the public the impression that its protection was longer lasting and withheld information pointing to the contrary.

Pfizer also had no reason to believe that its vaccine would prevent transmission of the virus, as one of its executives admitted last year, but still “embarked on a campaign to intimidate the public into getting the vaccine as a necessary measure to protect their loved ones.”

“In fact, Pfizer’s product failed to live up to the company’s representations,” Paxton continued. “COVID-19 cases increased after widespread vaccine administration, and some areas saw a greater percentage of deaths from COVID-19 among the vaccinated population than the unvaccinated.”

In the UK, for instance, the hospital group Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed in January 2022 that 93% of its COVID-19 patients were vaccinated. In Tel Aviv, Ichilov Hospital’s COVID-19 department head Dr. Yaakov Giris revealed that as much as 80% of the hospital’s severe COVID cases were vaccinated. The Health Ministry of Haryana, India found the COVID-19 death rate to be five times higher among the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.

It thus became known early on that Pfizer had produced a dangerous product which was not living up to expectations. When that happened Pfizer began working with social media companies to silence influential voices criticizing the vaccine. In some instances, netizens were suspended for irreverent posts about Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

“How did Pfizer respond when it became apparent that its vaccine was failing and the viability of its cash cow was threatened?” asks the lawsuit. “By intimidating those spreading the truth, and by conspiring to censor its critics. Pfizer labeled as ‘criminals’ those who spread facts about the vaccine. It accused them of spreading ‘misinformation.’ And it coerced social media platforms to silence prominent truth-tellers.”

Amid the silence of dissent, Pfizer was able to make claims that went largely unopposed. Bourla, for example, claimed that the vaccine’s trial data “provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.” In April 2021 he said the vaccine was “100% effective in preventing COVID-19 cases in South Africa.”

These claims were amplified by media operatives.

“Because of the extraordinary fear amongst the American public stemming from the pandemic and its attendant social and economic problems, Pfizer understood that mainstream media outlets would adopt and broadly disseminate the company’s statements about its COVID19 vaccine—especially those about effectiveness—and could readily anticipate that the media would serve as an amplifier of its deception campaign,” continued the complaint. “Indeed, prominent mainstream media outlets rapidly picked up on, and perpetuated, Pfizer’s misleading talking points.”