The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might be forced to release more information that it would prefer regarding the data used to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Fox News, a federal judge has ordered the agency to produce tens of thousands of pages of data on a significantly expedited timeline.
Advocacy group pushes for transparency
The FDA is believed to have amassed about 400,000 pages of data throughout the vaccine approval process.
Although the agency had only agreed to publicly release about 12,000 pages of data by the end of this month and a minimum of 500 pages each month thereafter, critics soon pointed out that, based on the minimum, all of the data might not be released for 75 years.
In its defense, the FDA said the limitations were the result of staffing shortages. Of course, skeptics expressed concerns that officials were attempting to hide information about the vaccine or the trials leading to its approval.
Those concerns have since been echoed by those Americans opposed to widespread vaccine requirements and mandates.
In an effort to achieve some transparency on the topic, Public Health and Medical Professionals filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FDA — and won.
“To offer solutions and address serious issues”
This week, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman ordered the FDA to increase its release of the Pfizer vaccine data to 55,000 pages per month, meaning that it should all be made public within the next year.
The judge called it an issue “of paramount public importance” in his ruling and quoted former President John F. Kennedy in determining that 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.”
Attorney Aaron Siri represented Public Health and Medical Professionals and released a statement celebrating the latest decision.
He called it a “great win for transparency,” concluding that it serves to remove “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.”
Neither the FDA nor the Justice Department provided an immediate public response to the decision.