FIRST ON FOX: Legal watchdog Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Thursday against the Department of Health and Human Services after the department did not provide requested information and communications about COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
The lawsuit comes after the Food and Drug Administration was unresponsive to Judicial Watch's Aug. 30, 2021 FOIA request that asked for all emails "sent to and from members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee 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."
The FDA never got back to the group with the requested records by the Oct. 18, 2021 deadline, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said common side effects from COVID-19 vaccines include pain and swelling at the injection site, not unlike other vaccines. Vaccinated individuals may experience fever, chills, tiredness and headache as well.
The government accountability group said that, through their lawsuit, is aiming to "promote transparency, integrity, and accountability in government and fidelity to the rule of law" and provide more information to the American people on any other possible side effects of the 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 obtained by Fox News Digital.
"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," Fitton said.
The lawsuit comes a week after Moderna requested FDA approval for fourth COVID-19 shot, as fears of a new COVID-19 variant outbreak arise.
The biotech company wrote in a release that it had requested the agency amend the emergency use authorization to allow for the additional booster in adults ages 18 years and older who have received an initial booster of any of the authorized or approved vaccines.
"The request to include adults over 18 years of age was made to provide flexibility for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and healthcare providers to determine the appropriate use of an additional booster dose of mRNA-1273, including for those at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities," the vaccine-maker said. "This submission is based in part on recently published data generated in the United States and Israel following the emergence of omicron."
HHS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment on the lawsuit.
Fox News' Timothy H. J. Nerozzi, Kayla Rivas and Julia Musto contributed to this report.