Pharma Giants Bury Vax Trials, Gov’t Deals

News: World News
by Jules Gomes  •  •  August 10, 2021   

Leaked and redacted jab contracts reveal unacceptable levels of secrecy

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BRUSSELS ( - Pharmaceutical oligarchs pushing the COVID-19 experimental vaccine have disclosed only seven percent of contracts with governments and published clinical trial protocols for just 12% of trials, researchers are revealing. 

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

A report by Transparency International and the University of Toronto titled "For Whose Benefit?" warns of dangerous levels of secrecy and lack of transparency revealing "a disturbing trend of governments censoring key details of their orders from drug companies."  

The 56-page pro-vaccine dossier revealed the results of an investigation into 20 COVID-19 vaccines with 86 registered clinical trials for the jabs. However, analysts found clinical trial protocols for only 10 trials. 

Slamming the "absence of meaningful data analysis," the report showed how trial results were being released through press releases, press conferences and even personal Twitter accounts, instead of through peer-reviewed articles in medical journals. 

Trial Methodology, Results Obscured

"These early announcements of headline results have led to the selective sharing of results, and a failure to explain methodological details that are key to interpreting the results," the report lamented. 

Clinical trial protocols had been published for only 12% of trials. Since "there were no publicly accessible protocols for 88% of the registered trials in our analysis," there was "no way of knowing the conditions under which they were carried out," it added. 

There were no publicly accessible protocols for 88% of the registered trials in our analysis.

Moreover, vaccine manufacturers announced results from just 45% of these trials. Of these, 41% had provided only top-level results via a press release or press conference, with the full data not made available for media scrutiny or academic review, researchers observed. 

While some data is shared with national regulators, "a lack of regulatory capacity and expertise can undermine a national regulatory agency's ability to spot suspicious clinical trial data," the report cautioned, increasing the country's vulnerability to "unsafe medical products," the study warned.  

Liability: Details Hidden 

Researchers also found a total of 182 agreements between pharma companies and governments for the purchase of 12 different vaccines with only one contract published without redactions and just seven percent of contracts published through official channels. 

Out of the 11 formally published contracts, 10 were published with a high number of redactions often covering entire pages and failing to conform to the Centre for Global Development (CGD) principle of "full contract publication."

Auxiliary bishop of Bombay Dominic Savio Fernandes advertises the experimental jab with his new jingle

The CGD requires information to "only be redacted for reasons of commercial sensitivity when the public interest in withholding information outweighs the public interest in disclosure."
Redactions in the UK-AstraZeneca COVID-19 contract also routinely cover large portions of text, sometimes obscuring entire sections that were totally unredacted in the comparable contracts, such as the indemnification section, Transparency International explained.
The number of redactions raises the question as to why so much — and seemingly more than usual — needs to be secret.

"Whilst the number of redactions provides a limited insight into which important information is obscured, it raises the question as to why so much — and seemingly more than usual — needs to be secret," it asked.  

Three of the 13 published and leaked vaccine contracts had indemnity clauses that contained substantial or partially unredacted information. Under indemnity provisions, if the jab manufacturer is sued for adverse side effects, the company does not have to pay compensation. 


AstraZeneca's U.K. COVID-19 vaccine contract redactions

The three contracts — the EU-AstraZeneca contract and the two Pfizer contracts — showed the companies were protected from any and all damages and liabilities in the case of specific adverse effects from the vaccine, the report noted. 

'Open Door' for 'Data Manipulation'

In a press statement, Jonathan Cushing, head of Transparency International's Global Health Program, said that the "results make for worrying reading and carry important implications not just for the COVID-19 response, but also for future health emergencies."

"The lack of transparency of many clinical trials combined with the huge financial incentives for producing effective treatments leaves the door wide open for selective reporting of results or outright data manipulation," Cushing added. 

Pfizer: Efficacy Dubious

Meanwhile, information security expert Ehden Biber on Thursday published copies of Pfizer's vaccine contracts with the European Commission, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru and other countries, after earlier publishing a leaked copy of Pfizer's contract with Albania — also used by Transparency International's report.

The contract compels the country buying the vaccine to agree that "Pfizer's efforts to develop and manufacture the product are aspirational in nature and subject to significant risks and uncertainties." 

Pfizer's efforts to develop and manufacture the product are aspirational in nature and subject to significant risks and uncertainties.

Pfizer acknowledges that its jab "may not be successful due to technical, clinical, regulatory, manufacturing, shipping, storage or other challenges or failures" but demands wide-ranging indemnity against it covering any legal action at any step of its vaccine supply chain.

Pharma: Putting the Squeeze on Gov't

Further, the government cannot stop buying Pfizer's jab, even if another drug or vaccine to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 infection is successfully developed or granted authorization. 

The EU-AstraZeneca contract compels the European Union to cover all damages "resulting from or associated with claims for death, physical, mental, or emotional injury, illness, disability, or condition, fear of the foregoing, property loss or damage, and business interruption."

A March report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) revealed that Pfizer had asked for indemnity that went far beyond the demands of the other vaccine manufacturers during vaccine negotiations with Latin American governments.

Pfizer asked Brazil and Argentina to put up sovereign assets that might include federal bank reserves, embassy buildings or military bases as collateral against the cost of future legal cases, BIJ reported. 

BIJ also confirmed that Pfizer and other vaccine developers had demanded complete confidentiality during vaccine negotiations, "which would prevent the public from knowing about issues including indemnity protection and price."

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