Health Canada delays information release on contaminated COVID-19 vaccine investigation

The agency tasked with drug regulation took a 195-day extension to an access to information request demanding the testing and quality control steps they took before importing contaminated AstraZeneca shots into the country, a manufacturer that has since pulled its product from the global market.

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As AstraZeneca was pulling its risky COVID-19 vaccine from the global market in May, Rebel News was filing a Health Canada access to information request regarding their oversight on this product.

The investigation revolves around contaminated batches of AstraZeneca’s vaccine being manufactured at a Baltimore, Maryland plant in the United States. Manufacturing was halted, but not before millions of doses had been shipped to Canada and Mexico. Issues at the plant included poor “disinfection practices, size and design, handling of raw materials and training of workers.”

In what looks like an attempt to save face, Health Canada released a statement on April 25, 2021 saying that they “verified that the 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine imported into Canada from this facility meet quality specifications. The Department reviewed test results of all vaccine lots that came into Canada, as well as the company’s quality control steps implemented throughout the manufacturing process to mitigate potential risks of contamination.”

To verify this claim, Rebel News requested copies of all documents regarding the testing and quality control steps taken regarding the AstraZeneca vaccines imported into Canada, including test results and the quality control steps taken, as outlined in their statement.

As the 30-day deadline for a response approached, ATIP analyst Nathan LeDuc reached out for clarification.

LeDuc said that relevant records would include approximately 100 pages but would not include hyperlinks. Including these hyperlinks would increase the volume to over 2,000 pages and would require extensive consultations with the third party (that’s AstraZeneca) and result in a lengthy extension.

If that information was used by Health Canada, then it should be part of the package. But it sounds like Health Canada doesn’t have any of their own data, which is why they have to go back to AstraZeneca to confirm.

It seems like another instance of Health Canada taking a pharmaceutical profiteer's word that their product is safe.

Rebel News responded for them to please include all hyperlinked information that Health Canada utilized to verify quality specifications and department-reviewed/approved quality control steps.

Needless to say, the department responded by saying that they are “required to contact the third parties to provide an opportunity to make written representation as to why they believe the records should not be disclosed,” and that they’re taking a 195-day extension.

If Health Canada did their job, if they had actually “verified that the 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine imported into Canada” met “quality specifications,” then that documentation should be readily available.

If “the Department reviewed test results of all vaccine lots that came into Canada, as well as the company’s quality control steps implemented throughout the manufacturing process to mitigate potential risks of contamination,” then that too should be readily available to the Canadian public.

Canadian taxpayers funded this entire process, including the salaries of these bureaucrats, yet they cannot access the details of the steps taken or the tests conducted to ensure product safety.

How’s that for open and transparent?

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