PETA Statement: Pfizer-BioNTech Emergency Use Authorization Against the Novel Coronavirus

For Immediate Release:
December 12, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – Please see the following statement from PETA regarding Pfizer-BioNTech Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Against the Novel Coronavirus:

PETA congratulates Pfizer-BioNTech for gaining Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its landmark vaccine to prevent the development of COVID-19. The rapid speed with which this vaccine gained FDA approval was achieved in part because this company was allowed to bypass the standard FDA drug-development process of first passing through a series of animal tests before moving on to human clinical trials. As a recent Reuters story stated, Pfizer-BioNTec “recognized that mRNA vaccines work very differently in animals compared to humans” and did not waste time conducting lengthy animal tests before reaching the human clinical stage.

For years, PETA has called on the FDA to modernize its stale and inefficient drug-development process by shifting from relying on animal tests to prioritizing human-relevant, non-animal testing strategies, and we are pleased to see this happening for vaccines against coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2. In a May 2020 letter to the FDA commissioner, PETA called on the agency to expand this sensible process to all drugs.

Drug companies are now openly stating what PETA has known for decades—that tests on animals are unreliable hurdles that serve only to slow down the discovery and approval of safe and effective drugs—and today’s EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine proves that the FDA agrees that animal tests are not needed in order to develop safe and effective drugs. For the sake of human health, it is time for the FDA to replace its lengthy, animal-intensive drug-development process with one that emphasizes human-relevant science. (Click there for PETA’s 2021 Research Modernization Deal)

Here’s 7 Things You Need to Know About Experiments on Animals and COVID-19

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”— opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind