The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is refusing to release the results of autopsies conducted on people who died after getting COVID-19 vaccines.
The FDA says it is barred from releasing medical files, but a drug safety advocate says that it could release the autopsies with personal information redacted.
The refusal was issued to The Epoch Times, which submitted a Freedom of Information Act for all autopsy reports obtained by the FDA concerning any deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System following COVID-19 vaccination.
Reports are lodged with the system when a person experiences an adverse event, or a health issue, after receiving a vaccine. The FDA and other agencies are tasked with investigating the reports. Authorities request and review medical records to vet the reports, including autopsies.
The FDA declined to release any reports, even redacted copies.
The FDA cited federal law, which enables agencies to withhold information if the agency “reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption,” with the exemption being “personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
Federal regulations also bar the release of “personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which constitutes a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The Epoch Times has appealed the denial, in addition to the recent denial of results of data analysis of VAERS reports.
‘Easily Be Redacted’
Kim Witczak, a drug safety advocate who advises the FDA as part of the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, said that the reports could be released with personal information blacked out.
“The personal information could easily be redacted without losing the potential learnings from [the] autopsy,” Witczak told The Epoch Times via email.
People make the choice to submit autopsy results to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, Witczak noted.