Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent or reduce transmission of Covid-19?

Erika Whittome made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Ministry of Health should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Erika Whittome

Dear Ministry of Health,

1. Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent or reduce transmission of Covid-19? There is no answer for this on Medsafe's page. The data sheet also has nothing about transmission https://medsafe.govt.nz/Profs/datasheet/...

2. This year, Medsafe had published a response to this question on this page until 30th Sep 2021:

https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/q-a...

"At this stage, we do not know if the vaccine prevents or reduces the transmission of Covid-19".

This response regarding transmission now been redacted from Medsafe's page. Please share the Medsafe meeting minutes prior to 30th Sep 2021 regarding this decision to remove statements on transmission.

Yours faithfully,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erika,

 

Thank you for your email. 

 

There was no meeting to discuss this.  A response regarding this has been
recently published on the Ministry of Health
website: [1]https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/....

 

Please also refer to the Science new page on the Ministry website for up
to date news and studies regarding
COVID-19: [2]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [email address] or by calling 0800 802
602. 

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

 

[3]Ministry of Health information releases  

[4]Unite against COVID-19  

 

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From: Erika Whittome <[FOI #17003 email]>
Sent: Saturday, 2 October 2021 07:28
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Official Information request - Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent or
reduce transmission of Covid-19?

 

Dear Ministry of Health,

1. Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent or reduce transmission of Covid-19?
There is no answer for this on Medsafe's page. The data sheet also has
nothing about transmission
[5]https://medsafe.govt.nz/Profs/datasheet/...

2. This year, Medsafe had published a response to this question on this
page until 30th Sep 2021:

[6]https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/q-a...

"At this stage, we do not know if the vaccine prevents or reduces the
transmission of Covid-19".

This response regarding transmission now been redacted from Medsafe's
page. Please share the Medsafe meeting minutes prior to 30th Sep 2021
regarding this decision to remove statements on transmission.

Yours faithfully,

Erika Whittome

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #17003 email]

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to Ministry of Health? If so, please contact us using this form:
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3. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
4. https://covid19.govt.nz/
5. https://medsafe.govt.nz/Profs/datasheet/...
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Link to this

From: Erika Whittome

Dear OIA Requests,

The URL in your response is invalid and has no information: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

The page says: "Sorry - we can't find what you are looking for."

Given the text has been removed from the data sheet, a person or group made this decision to remove the text, be it in a meeting or email. I can understand if there were no minuted actions from a meeting. Kindly share the written email with the decision and its background for the outcome to remove this text from the Cominarty data sheet.

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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14K Download


Kia ora Erica,

 

 

Thank you for your follow up email. 

 

The data sheet did not contain information regarding transmission,
therefore no information was deleted. Please refer to the previous
response that was provided to you regarding transmission. 

 

The data sheet can be found
here: [1]https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datash...

 

Apologies that the link is not working for you, please try this
one: [2]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise....

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [3][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 

 

Ngā mihi 

OIA Services Team 

  

[4]Ministry of Health information releases 

[5]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

show quoted sections

 From: Erika Whittome <[FOI #17003 email]>
 Sent: Saturday, 2 October 2021 07:28
 To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
 Subject: Official Information request - Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent
or
 reduce transmission of Covid-19?

  

 Dear Ministry of Health,

 1. Does the Pfizer vaccine prevent or reduce transmission of Covid-19?
 There is no answer for this on Medsafe's page. The data sheet also has
 nothing about transmission
 [5]https://medsafe.govt.nz/Profs/datasheet/...

 2. This year, Medsafe had published a response to this question on this
 page until 30th Sep 2021:

 [6]https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/q-a...

 "At this stage, we do not know if the vaccine prevents or reduces the
 transmission of Covid-19".

 This response regarding transmission now been redacted from Medsafe's
 page. Please share the Medsafe meeting minutes prior to 30th Sep 2021
 regarding this decision to remove statements on transmission.

 Yours faithfully,

 Erika Whittome

 -------------------------------------------------------------------

 This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

 Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
 [FOI #17003 email]

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Link to this

From: Erika Whittome

Dear OIA MoH,

You are not being transparent when you say the page MoH did not contain that information.

Here is the archived page online:

https://web.archive.org/web/202109281006...
I will copy and paste from this archived MoH page:

"Does the vaccine prevent or reduce transmission of COVID-19?
At this stage, we do not know if vaccination prevents or reduces transmission of COVID-19."

You are not being transparent. You are denying this information ever existed on your page.

Kindly answer the questions in my OIA request.

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erika.

 

Thank you for your follow up email. As you have been previously advised,
information regarding the effects of a vaccine on reducing transmission is
not captured in the data sheet. A data sheet contains information relating
to the safe and effective use of a medicine/vaccine, it does not contain
any information on disease transmission or epidemiology. As such, it is
important to address that the wording of your request “Given the text has
been removed from the data sheet” is incorrect and may cause
misinformation.  

 

To further clarify, the information you refer to have been omitted was
from the Medsafe webpage for COVID-19 Therapeutic Products – Questions and
Answers. The Ministry of Health decided to exclude information relating to
the vaccine’s effect on transmission as we constantly review and update
our advice to reflect the latest evidence and science on the best ways to
fight COVID-19. As the Ministry has previously noted, while infections
with the Delta variant in vaccinated persons potentially have reduced
transmissibility than infections in unvaccinated persons, additional
studies are still needed.

 

Our primary focus is ensuring that reliable information about the vaccine
is easily available to the New Zealand public, and that our communications
help address any information gaps. Vaccines are a critical aspect of the
package of measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We do not yet know the
extent to which the vaccines prevent Covid-19 transmission in a given
individual. However, vaccination is expected to reduce overall infection
rate and the incidence of symptomatic disease, and therefore the risk of
onward transmission within our communities.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 

 

Ngâ mihi 

OIA Services Team 

  

[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

 

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  This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

  Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
  [FOI #17003 email]

  Is [Ministry of Health request email] the wrong address for Official
 Information requests
  to Ministry of Health? If so, please contact us using this form:
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From: Erika Whittome

Dear OIA Requests,

Your "questions and answers" page for the vaccine had a statement about transmission in my updates above. Kindly share the decision and minutes to remove this statement about virus transmission from the page. To avoid misinformation, the data sheet and the questions and answers should not have confusing or contradictory information.

I am concerned there is no clinical evidence to back up the following statement in your last response. You use the word "expected" in your statement about transmission:

"...vaccination is expected to reduce overall infection rate and the incidence of symptomatic disease, and therefore the risk of onward transmission within our communities."

"Expect"-ing something aligns with a dogma, and not science. Science uses the scientific method. Where are the trials with the delta variant to back up this statement please?

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

Mr Rodgers left an annotation ()

"Expect"-ing something aligns with a dogma, and not science"

Quite the opposite. If I hold something in my hand and let it go, I "expect" it to fall to the ground under the influence of gravity. That is a scientific viewpoint.

If I were to say that if I release an object in my hand, that "will" fall to the floor is dogma.

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Attachment H202113690 Response.pdf
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Kia ora Erika,

 

Please find attached a response to your official information act request

 

Ngā mihi 

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [1][email address]

 

 

 

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victor left an annotation ()

"The decision to remove this statement the website was verbal"

No record of decision to remove the text from publication on an official portal.

This is the opposite of industry practise and standards except in banana republics.

How much of everything are these agencies hiding.

Link to this

From: Erika Whittome

Dear OIA Requests,

A verbal decision to remove a vital piece of information about the transmission is not part of an accountable and transparent government process .

The Lancet have published a study on transmission:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin...(21)00648-4/fulltext

This study was covered by Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/... .

“People inoculated against Covid-19 are just as likely to spread the delta variant of the virus to contacts in their household as those who haven’t had shots, according to new research.”

“In a yearlong study of 621 people in the U.K. with mild Covid-19, scientists found that their peak viral load was similar regardless of vaccination status, according to a paper published Thursday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal. “

Kindly share the decision and the minutes for this decision to remove the transmission statement under the OIA.

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: OIA Requests

Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your Official Information Act (the Act) request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. We
will endeavour to acknowledge your request as soon as possible. Further
information about COVID-19 can be found on our
website: [1]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

 

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [2]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

If you have any questions while we're processing your request, please let
us know via [3][email address]

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[4]Ministry of Health information releases  

[5]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

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Chuck Schooner left an annotation ()

Hi Erika,
The Mayor of LA just tested positive for Covid-19 and he has had three vaccinations. He is now self isolating at home but when he recovers it is unclear if he will need a fourth vaccination. Given his three jabs to date he will likely be able to go to a restaurant and show his papers to do so whilst simultaneously eradicating the disease in his district with this effective vaccine.

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erika,

 

Thank you for your follow up email. 

 

As you have been advised previously, there was no meeting nor are there
any minutes relating to this decision. Please note any further requests
for the same information may be construed as vexatious and result in such
requests being refused under section 18(h) of the Act.

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 

 

Ngā mihi   

   
Nick Allan   

Manager, OIA Services   

Office of the Director-General  

[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

 

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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #17003 email]

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Ms Thorn left an annotation ()

I find it note worthy that hardly any of the links that have been provided are working. The ones that are only give general information.

Link to this

From: Erika Whittome

Dear OIA Requests,
Repeating my request is not vexatious. I am asking you to answer the question.

A process of some sort has been followed by the ministry. A decision was made to remove a statement about transmission from the website. You may claim there were no meeting minutes, however there was an outcome: a request or job was created to update the ministry’s website . A “webmaster” of sorts would have received a request to update the text on the webpage and remove the transmission statement.

Given you say there were no minutes, from whom did this website update request originate? Ie there has been a specific request to update the web page to remove the statement on transmission. Who lodged this request?

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: OIA Requests



Kia ora 

 

Thank you for your email. The Ministry of Health is closed from Thursday
23 December 2021—Monday 10 January 2022. We will respond to your email
when the Ministry reopens. Thank you for your patience. 

 

OIA requests

Please note that under the Official information Act 1982, the days from 25
December 2021 to Saturday 15 January 2022 (inclusive), are not ‘working
days’ for the purposes of the law and therefore do not form part of the 20
working days required to respond.  For more information on this, please
visit the OIA calculator at: [1]ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

COVID-19 information 

·    for information on the Government’s response to the COVID-19
pandemic, please go to [2]covid19.govt.nz 

·    for information about COVID-19 locations of interest:
[3]health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/contact-tracing-covid-19/covid-19-contact-tracing-locations-interest

·    for information on COVID-19 testing sites:
[4]covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-tracing/covid-19-testing/where-to-get-tested/

·    for information on COVID-19 vaccination (including bookings) go to:
[5]health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines

·    for information on managed isolation, including exemptions from
managed isolation, please go to [6]miq.govt.nz 

 

Emergency services and health information 

·    if you are in an emergency situation, please dial 111 

·    if you require health advice or information, please
call Healthline free 24/7 on 0800 611 116. 

 

Mental health helplines 

If you require [7]mental health assistance please contact one of the
following free national helplines: 

·    1737: free text 24/7. Trained counsellors can offer support for
addiction issues, as well as advice on mental health 

·    the National Depression Helpline: free call 24/7 on 0800 111 757,
text 4202, or online at [8]depression.org.nz 

·    Lifeline: free call 24/7 on 0800 543 354 

·    Samaritans: free call on 0800 726 666. Confidential, non-religious,
and non-judgmental support

 

Ngā mihi 

OIA Services 

 

 

 

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Chuck Schooner left an annotation ()

The Pfizer “booster” shot is not a “booster”. It’s a shot of something that has already failed twice whilst also having deadly consequences for over 100 people including children. The Director General of Health should have some integrity and move on.

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victor left an annotation ()

Chuck, the previous DGoH was moved on under a cloud of conflicts and appearance of corrupted activity, which leads to the ministry having long standing well documented history of 'negligent' activity.

AB is the most recent edition and is an appropriately conflicted figure atop of the terminally declining ministry.

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erika,
Thank you for your follow up email. 
The decision to remove the statement can be attributed to the
Ministry/Medsafe as a whole. As noted in our previous response, Medsafe
considered the public could be confused by the messages, as such, it was
decided to omit that sentence from the website as it was not conducive to
keeping the public informed regarding the latest research about vaccines
reducing transmission. 
The Ministry has nothing further to add and considers this matter closed.

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 

 

Ngā mihi 

OIA Services Team 

  

[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Erika Whittome <[FOI #17003 email]>
Sent: Friday, 31 December 2021 15:15
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Response to your official information act request
(ref.H202113904)
 
Dear OIA Requests,
Repeating my request is not vexatious. I am asking you to answer the
question.

A process of some sort has been followed by the ministry. A decision was
made to remove a statement about transmission from the website. You may
claim there were no meeting minutes, however there was an outcome: a
request or job was created to update the ministry’s website . A
“webmaster” of sorts would have  received a request to update the text on
the webpage and remove the transmission statement.

Given you say there were no minutes, from whom did this website update
request originate? Ie there has been a specific request to update the web
page to remove the statement on transmission. Who lodged this request?

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

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