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Kansas has sued Pfizer accusing the company of misleading the public about its COVID-19 vaccine.

The state has accused the company of hiding risks while making false claims about its effectiveness.

In a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Thomas County, the state said the New York-based drugmaker's alleged false statements violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

The lawsuit claims that, beginning shortly after the vaccine's rollout in early 2021, Pfizer concealed evidence that the shot was linked to pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, as well as inflammation in and around the heart, known as myocarditis and pericarditis.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, a Republican, said: "Pfizer made multiple misleading statements to deceive the public about its vaccine at a time when Americans needed the truth."

Pfizer said in a statement that it believed the lawsuit had no merit, adding that: "The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based."

The US Food and Drug Administration in June 2021 added a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis to the vaccine's label. The side effects are rare and most often occur in adolescent boys and young men.

A 2023 review of 21 studies by the US National Institutes of Health concluded that Covid vaccines were not linked to miscarriage.

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Kansas also said Pfizer falsely claimed that its vaccine, which was developed with German partner BioNTech for the original strain of the virus, retained a high effectiveness against mutated variants, and that it would prevent not only illness but transmission.

Kobach said on Monday that other states had been collaborating with Kansas in its investigation and are expected to file lawsuits as well. BioNTech is not a defendant in the case.

It comes as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a similar lawsuit against Pfizer last year, which remains pending. Pfizer has also called that case "meritless".

Government data shows around 81 per cent of the US population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine after the pandemic triggered a race to get jabbed.

It comes as Dr Anthony Fauci was subject to intense questioning from Republican lawmakers over his role in the pandemic response.

Fauci has been the subject of both praise and fierce criticism after becoming the face of the US Covid response.

He was pressed on the origins of the virus, saying he "keeps an open mind" on the matter.

In a declassified report released last year, US intelligence agencies found no direct evidence that the virus broke out from a Chinese laboratory.

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