Public health officials are constantly urging Americans to “follow the science.” That message is difficult to heed when they’ve put the pertinent information into a 55-year time capsule.
The Food and Drug Administration says it will turn over documents and data pertaining to the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine but that it will take until 2076 to do so, the Daily Caller reported. This revelation followed a Freedom of Information Act request to turn over some 329,000 pages of documents.
The watchdog group Public Health Medical Professionals for Transparency sued the FDA for failing to comply with its FOIA request. The agency contended that it would only be able to “process and produce the non-exempt portions of responsive records at a rate of 500 pages per month” meaning it would take 55 years to fully release.
“This rate is consistent with processing schedules entered by courts across the country in FOIA cases,” the FDA explained. PHMPT had asked for a 4-month deadline meaning the administration would have to process 80,000 pages each month.
Meanwhile, the FDA assured the public of the vaccine’s safety in merely 108 days of review to approve it for emergency use. “It took the FDA precisely 108 days from when Pfizer started producing the records for licensure to when the FDA licensed the Pfizer vaccine,” PHMPT attorney Aaron Siri said in a statement.
“Taking the FDA at its word, it conducted an intense, robust, thorough, and complete review and analysis of those documents in order to assure that the Pfizer vaccine was safe and effective for licensure,” he continued. “While it can conduct that intense review of Pfizer’s documents in 108 days, it now asks for over 20,000 days to make these documents available to the public,” Siri pointed out.
The vaccine was hastily released for emergency use and is now approved for children as young as five. This has all been done supposedly after rigorous and exhaustive study, though it’s telling that the FDA will need half a century to sift through the data it currently has.
Americans may take the FDA’s assurances of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy at face value. However, the public shouldn’t have to wait so long for the full of data — unless they simply don’t want it out there at all.