FDA ordered to accelerate release all Pfizer vaccine docs

FORT WORTH, TX, January 22, 2022 – Federal Judge Mark T. Pittman of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, on January 6, ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accelerate the release of an estimated 451,000 pages of material related to the licensing of Pfizer’s BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Originally, the FDA proposed a release schedule of 500 pages per month after a group of scientists issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking the U.S. Government to release the data it reviewed before licensing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.  The latest order by Judge Pittman now accelerates this schedule to 55,000 pages per month. In other words, all the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data will now be accessible to the public by the end of this summer instead of the year 2097.

The public can view the documents on the Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency’s (PHMPT) website. To view the Lynnwood Times article on the first set of FOIA released data, click here.

mark pittman
(L-R) Sean Jordan, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Pittman, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March 2019. Photo Courtesy of Sen. John Cornyn.

FDA resistance and court ordered compliance

The FDA argued that its 10-member FOIA staff could not handle the workload of more than 500 pages a month in addition to the normal incoming FOIA requests. However, attorneys for the Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency countered stating the agency with a $6.5 billion budget can reassign some of its 18,062 employees to fulfill the request.

Pittman in his order agreed with the plaintiff’s argument and stated that the “FOIA request is of paramount public importance.”

“Here, the Court recognizes the ‘“unduly burdensome”’ challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA…But, as expressed at the scheduling conference, there may not be a ‘“more important issue at the Food and Drug Administration . . . than the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine, getting every American vaccinated, [and] making sure that the American public is assured that this was not rush[ed] on behalf of the United States,”’ Pittman wrote.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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