GOP Rep. Ralph Norman introduced legislation recently that would require the Food and Drug Administration to release all documents related to the coronavirus vaccine within the next 100 days. This legislation was drafted in response to a request by a federal agency to extend the release of data on COVID vaccines for up to 55 years.
Norman stated that it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. He wondered how it would take 55 years for information to be available about a vaccine that was approved in just 108 days. In September, 30 doctors and scientists from the Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency lawsuit filed suit against FDA after the FDA refused to process their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), request for vaccine data.
The FDA approved Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged 16 and over in August. A FOIA request was made to the federal agency. Scientists suggested that vaccine skeptics could be convinced if more vaccine data was made available to encourage vaccinations.
In court filings, the group claimed that reviewing this information would settle public debates about the FDA’s review process. These data will confirm that the FDA has determined that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective and should be released to increase trust in the Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA’s Justice Department lawyers claimed that the plaintiff’s request contained more than 329,000 pages. To prevent the release of “trade secrets[s]”, all these documents must be scanned. The defense claimed the FDA didn’t have the personnel or resources to process plaintiffs’ FOIA requests at speeds of more than 80.000 pages per month.
According to court documents filed by the DOJ last month, the DOJ claimed that the PHMPT Branch responsible for reviewing and releasing pages to PHMPT only had 10 employees. They currently handle 400 FOIA requests. Instead, the FDA proposes 500 pages per month.
The PHMPT will have all the information it requires by 2076 if the Federal Judge accepts the terms of the agency. Norman stated the FDA should place safety and health first. The public has the right to find out how and why the vaccine was approved so quickly.