Judicial Watch Sues HHS for Communications About COVID Vaccine Side-Effects

Michael W. Chapman | April 5, 2022 | 10:34am EDT
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President Joe Biden receives a second booster shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium, next to the White House, in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2022.
President Joe Biden receives a second booster shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium, next to the White House, March 30, 2022.

(CNS News) -- Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services because it has not responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning communications about the side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Americans have a right to know about any and all safety issues tied to the COVID vaccines,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release.

“The government’s unlawful stonewall on this issue, which will now take a federal FOIA lawsuit to resolve, suggests that there is something to hide," he said. 

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  (Screenshot)
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. (Screenshot)

Judicial Watch made its first FOIA request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is part of HHS, on Aug. 30, 2021.  The group requested the following information:

"All emails sent to and from members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee [in FDA] regarding adverse events, deaths and/or injuries caused by investigatory vaccines for the prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and/or COVID-19 currently produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and/or Johnson & Johnson."

Judicial Watch set the timeframe for all such emails from December 1, 2019 to the present.

The FDA responded by letter on Sept. 2, 2021, stating it had received the FOIA request and had assigned it a tracking number. The FDA also said it would use a ten-day time extension because of “an increase in the number of incoming requests.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

However, since that letter, Judicial Watch has received no further response from the FDA -- thus, the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 9, 2022. 

In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch charges that the FDA has "failed to: (i) determine whether to  comply with the request; (ii) notify Judicial Watch of any such determination or the reasons therefor; (iii) advise Judicial Watch of the right to appeal any adverse determination; or (iv) produce the requested records or otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from production."

The BBC recently reported on a British mother who died from a "'catastrophic' bleed on the brain caused by a rare side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccine." The coroner "recorded the cause of death as Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT)," said the BBC. 

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