Did the US FDA ask for 75 years to fully release the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data to the public?
Find out what’s going on, and what the facts really are!
Claim : FDA Asked For 75 Years To Release Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Data!
According to Aaron Siri, a lawyer working on the case, the US FDA just asked a federal judge for 75 years to produce the Pfizer vaccine data and documents.
Truth : FDA Did NOT Ask For 75 Years To Release Pfizer Vaccine Data!
This is really just some “creative hyperbole” by Aaron Siri, the lawyer working on this FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.
And here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : FDA Did Not Ask For 75 Years To Release Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Data
First, let me be clear – the US FDA did not ask US District Judge Mark Pittman for 75 years to release the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data.
That is merely the “interpretation” of Aaron Siri, the lawyer working for PHMPT (Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency) – the group requesting the data that the FDA used to licence the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
As you will see below, it’s based on ignoring facts and basic math…
Fact #2 : FDA Has To Redact Files Before They Are Released
It is not simply a matter of handing over the documents to PHMPT.
The FDA has to go through every document and redact information that are exempt from disclosure under FOIA, before it can release them.
That process is not only time-consuming, it is resource-intensive because it requires government information specialists to review each page line-by-line.
The FDA estimates that it takes 8 minutes per page to read and review records for FOIA production.
Fact #3 : FDA Has 400 Other Pending FOIA Requests
The FOIA request by PHMPT is being handled by the Access Litigation and Freedom of Information Branch at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).
This is a small department with just ten employees, including the director and two trainees. So they really have just seven people who are trained well enough to process FOIA requests.
This small team is currently processing “approximately 400 currently pending FOIA requests“, while being embroiled in “6 active FOIA litigation matters“.
Needless to say, the heavy workload greatly limits how many pages this office can go through and redact every month.
Fact #4 : PHMPT Demanded “Everything” In 108 Days
The FDA asked PHMPT to narrow their request by specifying records they don’t require, so they can focus on processing the important documents they need.
The PHMPT, however, insisted that the FDA process and deliver ALL documents related to the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – some 329,000 pages!
On top of that, the PHMPT demanded that the FDA accomplish that within 108 days. That would require a processing rate of over 80,000 pages per month – far in excess of what the FDA FOIA office is capable of handling.
Fact #5 : FDA Vaccine Approval Is Different From FOIA Process
It seems obvious, but it has to be said – the FDA vaccine approval process is different from the FOIA process.
So it is ridiculous for the PHMPT to insist that their 108-day demand is valid because it “is the same amount of time” it took the FDA to review the documents and licence the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The FOIA process, on the other hand, involves FDA information specialists going through each page line-by-line to identify and redact proprietary information.
Fact #6 : FDA Vaccine Approval Process Adds A Ton Of New Documents
The FDA vaccine approval team went through fewer documents, because they only need to look at relevant information provided by Pfizer and BioNTech.
The FDA team in charge of this FOIA request would necessarily have to go through far more documents, because the approval process itself adds a ton of new documentation.
Even the PHMPT acknowledged that, specifically asking for “all correspondence and written summaries of oral discussions” related to the FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Hence, it is ludicrous for the PHMPT to claim that the two processes are similar in effort and time.
Fact #7 : FDA Processes FOIA Requests In 500-Page Blocks
The FDA processes FOIA requests in 500-page blocks, which allow them to provide documents to more requesters, and avoid a few large requests monopolising their “finite processing resources”.
This is not a special processing limitation on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data, but a standard FDA processing rate that the courts have upheld for a long time.
Fact #8 : FDA Processing FOIA Requests Faster Than Proposed
The FDA was able to process some records faster than the 500-page rate, as they noted in their 6 December 2021 brief. They also said that they can release more than 12,000 pages by end of January 2022.
As it stands, the FDA appears to be doing above and beyond what it pledged to do, delivering almost 5000 pages per month – about 10X its promised rate.
Even if they end up delivering half that performance, they would finish processing 329,000 pages in 137 months – just under 11.5 years.
Obviously, 11.5 years is far less than the 55 years claimed…
Fact #9 : It Would Take PHMPT Months To Read Everything
PHMPT stated that they are a group of over 30 people. Let’s say there are 35 strong, and they take the same 8 minutes to read through each page.
Even if they all sat down and read for 8 hours a day, it would take them over 7 months just to read through the 329,000 pages ONCE.
And it should be noted that this involves 5X more people than the FDA FOIA team, and they are all dedicated to this singular task of reading those Pfizer documents.
Fact #10 : PHMPT Took Almost 108 Days To Read 5 Documents!
PHMPT took almost 108 days to read through the first batch of five documents that the FDA released to them on 17 November 2021.
This not only proves that the FDA was right about how much time it takes to read these documents, it also shows that the PHMPT does not really need all 329,000 documents within 108 days.
It took the PHMPT almost that long just to read 5 documents! At this rate, it will take them some 16,450 years to read all 329,000 Pfizer documents…
Fact #11 : FDA Released Almost All Of PHMPT Priority List By Jan 2022
PHMPT appears to be cognisant that it is stupid to request for “everything” when most of the pages may not be relevant at all.
That’s why they sent the FDA a priority list of eight (8) items. And guess what – the US FDA was able to provide seven (7) of those items by January 31, 2022!
So Aaron Siri’s public griping about the FDA taking so long appears to be nothing more than theatre.
Fact #12 : Processing Time Depends On PHMPT, Not FDA
Aaron Siri claimed that the FDA disclosed in their 6 December 2021 brief that there are many more pages to process, thereby increasing the time to fully-release everything from 55 years to 75 years.
That’s nonsense, because the processing time ultimately depends on what the PHMPT is demanding.
As the FDA noted, their initial assessment of 329,000 pages was based on their interpretation of PHMPT’s request for all information from the original Pfizer vaccine BLA (biologics licence application).
But if the PHMPT insist that they want OTHER RECORDS like BLA supplements, amendments and product correspondence, then the FDA would have to process an additional 39,000 pages.
And if the PHMPT insist that they also want the “investigational new drug applications” (whatever for?), then that’s tens of thousands of additional pages.
So the ball is really in the PHMPT’s court. They can drag this out to 100 years and more. All they have to do is insist that they want the FDA to process even more (irrelevant) pages.
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