On Wednesday, American Oversight sued the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Food and Drug Administration for records of any communications with Pfizer, a leading contender in the race for a coronavirus vaccine.
This week, the New York Times reported that in the late summer or fall, the Trump administration turned down an offer from Pfizer to purchase additional doses of its vaccine — even after interim data came out, as CNBC reported on Wednesday. The U.S. has currently secured 100 million doses, which will vaccinate 50 million Americans, as the vaccine is a two-dose treatment. Pfizer has said it cannot supply additional doses to the U.S. until next summer. Previously, Politico reported that in October, Pfizer officials were speaking regularly with the president and other White House officials.
In October, we filed Freedom of Information Act requests with HHS, the CDC, CMS, and the FDA seeking communications between agency leaders and officials and any employees or representatives of Pfizer. Wednesday’s lawsuit was prompted by the agencies’ failure to respond to these records requests.
Since we filed the FOIA requests, Pfizer became the first company to submit its vaccine to be considered for emergency use authorization by the FDA. Clinical data analysis has shown the vaccine is 95 percent effective. However, it requires ultra-cold storage that raises unique distribution challenges. Pfizer will present data before the FDA’s scientific advisers on Dec. 10, and could be approved soon after.
The lawsuit is part of American Oversight’s investigation into the vaccine development and distribution process, under which we have filed records requests seeking communications with other leading vaccine manufacturers, including Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Part of Investigation: