Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of vaccine doses have been administered to citizens worldwide. But two months following the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, recent court documents show that the government agency wants to wait 55 years to release vaccine data after multiple professors scientists requested the information via the Freedom of Information Act, Reuters reported.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2021
According to the news outlet, over two dozen scientists and educators from Harvard, Yale and other prestigious universities filed a lawsuit this past September “seeking expedited access to the record.” With the FOIA request asking for over 300,000 pages of data on the Pfizer vaccine, the FDA reportedly proposed 55 years to thoroughly review and publish a large amount of information.
However, the plaintiffs are seeking an early release of the data, citing that the information could help doubters of the vaccine understand that it is “safe and effective and, thus, increase confidence in the Pfizer vaccine,” Reuters reported. Their lawyers ask that all of the data be released by March 3, 2022, at the latest.
Seemingly offering a compromise, the FDA also requested to publish 500 pages per month “on a rolling basis,” according to Reuters, with lawyers for the Department of Justice saying, “By processing and making interim responses based on 500-page increments, FDA will be able to provide more pages to more requesters, thus avoiding a system where a few large requests monopolize finite processing resources and where fewer requesters’ requests are being fulfilled.”
The decision reportedly now heads to a federal judge in Texas. If approved, the complete Pfizer vaccine data may not be available until 2076.