“They’re not bad people. They are criminals because they have literally cost millions of lives," Mr Bourla told think-tank Atlantic Council’s CEO Frederick Kempe.
He said that a “very small” group of people have been spreading misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines.
"People want to make money, some of them, by playing with the emotions of people...they are creating this whole conspiracy theory to benefit and profit from fear of the people," he said.
His comments come in the wake of a survey published on Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), which found that eight in 10 Americans believe or are unsure of at least one false statement about Covid-19 or its vaccines.
Mr Bourla said that life for many people can go “back to normal” once people get vaccinated. “The only thing that stands between the new way of life and the current way of life is frankly hesitancy to vaccinations,” he said.
The United States has administered 432,111,860 doses of Covid-19 jabs and completely vaccinated over 70 per cent of adults, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday. The agency claimed that 223,944,369 people had received at least one dose, while 194,001,108 people were fully vaccinated.
The vaccine maker has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorise a booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 and older. Presently, the US government recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine for people aged 65 and older and all adults who are at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus because of medical conditions.
The FDA is likely to clear the request by the end of the month, according to health officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the New York Times. The booster jab is administered six months after the second shot of vaccine.
The US administration earlier this week lifted its 21-month-long Covid-19 restrictions allowing fully vaccinated international travellers to visit the North American country.
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