The Food and Drug Administration was ordered by a federal judge Thursday to release tens of thousands of more pages a month about the data used in its approval process for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Public Health and Medical Professionals sued the FDA under a Freedom of Information Act that demanded more transparency, Reuters reported last month.
The FDA—citing staffing issues—agreed to release 12,000 pages by the end of January and a “minimum” of 500 pages a month going forward, the report said. The group found that number unacceptable and said there are more than 400,000 pages of data needed, which could mean it may be 2097 before all the documents are made public.
Children 12-15 years old receive a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut on January 6, 2022. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images) (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman called the group’s FOIA request “of paramount public importance,” and demanded that the FDA release 55,000 pages a month—which means all information should be available within eight months, Reuter’s Jenna Greene, who had been following the suit, reported.
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A tray with vials containing Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 booster vaccine seen at a vaccination center in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) ( Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
“Even if the FDA may not see it this way, I think Pittman did the agency—and the country—a big favor by expediting the document production,” she wrote.
The FDA and Department of Justice did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News about the order.
Aaron Siri, the lawyer representing the group, called Pittman’s ruling a “great win for transparency and removes one of the strangleholds federal ‘health’ authorities have had on the data needed for independent scientists to offer solutions and address serious issues with the current vaccine program.”
Siri pointed out that Pittman quoted President John F. Kennedy who said, a “nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
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The Reuters report pointed out that the FDA has never refused to provide the data for public consumption and the only issue was timing.
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Siri, posted on his Substack last month that it is “dystopian for the government to give Pfizer billions, mandate Americans to take its product, prohibit Americans from suing for harm, but yet refuse to let Americans see the data underlying its licensure.”