No, 'bombshell' vaccine study was not redacted

What was Claimed

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a paper on myocarditis after COVID vaccination but redacted every page.

Our Verdict

False. The cited document was not a study but instead internal CDC communications exempt from US freedom of information laws.

It's claimed the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a paper on myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination but redacted every word in the 148-page report.

This is false. The document was not a study on myocarditis post-vaccination. Instead, it consisted of records of internal CDC communications and other internal documents that are exempt under US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

The claim is made in multiple Facebook posts, such as here, here and here.

They say the CDC redacted all 148 pages of the report and imply it's because the public health agency has something to hide regarding links between COVID vaccines and myocarditis.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
The posts are creating anti-vaccination hysteria.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle. A small increased risk of myocarditis and/or pericarditis (inflammation of the thin sac that surrounds the heart) has been linked to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

The Facebook posts echo a series of X posts by Zachary Stieber, a reporter for The Epoch Times.

On March 8, he posted on social media that he was excited to dive into the CDC's long-term study of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, released under the FOIA.

He shared a link to the report stored on - with all 148 pages redacted.

But in a follow-up X post, Stieber said there was some confusion about the document.

He clarified his FOIA request was for information about the CDC's "MOVING project" - not for the release of a specific study.

He explained the project team had publicly released several studies, one of which he linked to.

The redactions in the 148-page report are labelled (b)(5) on the top left corner of each page. That code refers to the specific FOIA  exemption under which the redactions have been made.

Exemption 5 refers to "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency".

In other words, the 148 pages are not a study but communications within the CDC or between the CDC and other agencies, and can be exempt from public release.

A CDC spokesman confirmed to AAP FactCheck that the redactions made were under exemptions 5 and 6 of the FOIA.

Redacted parts of a report (report)
The redacted report wasn't about myocarditis post-vaccination.

Claims about the document were amplified during a committee hearing in Arizona's state legislature on March 15, which was livestreamed.

Arizona State Senator Janae Shamp held up blank pieces of paper and said: "The CDC redacts every single word of a 148-page study into myocarditis after COVID vaccination. ... What good does a study do if there's nothing there?" (video mark 2hr 04min 48sec).

A clip of Senator Shamp's comments was shared on X on March 19 with the comment: "CDC releases paper on myocarditis after COVID vaccination, and every word is redacted … There’s obviously something very damning they're trying to hide."

The claim has also been fact-checked here.

The Verdict

The claim the CDC released a paper on myocarditis after COVID vaccination but redacted every page is false.

The document cited in social media posts is not a study on myocarditis. It is a record of internal communications along with other internal documents relating to a specific team within the CDC.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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