Federal Judge Orders FDA to Expedite Public Disclosure of Moderna, Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Data

Originally published May 13, 2023 7:00 am PDT

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must expedite the public disclosure of data used to license the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

The ruling mandates that the FDA, which initially proposed a release timeline of approximately 23.5 years, must now disclose all relevant documents by mid-2025, according to a report from The Epoch Times.

The lawsuit, filed by parents of a child allegedly injured by a COVID-19 vaccine, hailed the decision as a victory for transparency.

Their legal counsel, Aaron Siri of Siri & Glimstad, asserted that the verdict was “another blow for transparency and accountability.”

He also referenced a previous court order, also issued by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, that compelled the FDA to speed up the release of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine data for individuals aged 16 and above.

In his ruling, Judge Pittman invoked the principle that “Democracy dies behind closed doors.”

He ruled that the FDA must release the data, estimated to be around 4.8 million pages, at a rate of at least 180,000 pages per month.

This is a significantly faster pace than the FDA’s proposal of releasing between 1,000 and 16,000 pages per month, Epoch Times notes.

The judge also dismissed the FDA’s claim that it lacked the resources to release the information more quickly.

He stated that the court’s duty is to ensure “the fullest possible disclosure of the information sought is timely provided,” as “stale information is of little value.”

Judge Pittman has asked both parties to provide a joint production schedule for the data by May 23, 2023, to ensure the accelerated deadline is met.

He underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in both cases, and noted that unnecessary delays and secrecy could foster conspiracy theories and erode public trust in government agencies.

Despite the ruling, the FDA maintains that it is obligated to release the information but contends that its FOIA office lacks the necessary staff to meet the plaintiffs’ requested pace of production.

The FDA is yet to provide a comment on the latest court order, which requires the release of all data on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds and Moderna’s vaccine for adults by June 31, 2025.