As a public record, I am publishing my correspondence with the NHMRC on this webpage: Letters to NHMRC re vaccination and ethics.
On 15 April 2014, I forwarded a letter to Professor Warwick Anderson, CEO of the NHMRC, suggesting the ethical spotlight needs to be shone on the way vaccination policy and practice is being implemented in Australia. I provided examples of the lack of transparency and accountability in the vaccination bureaucracy, including the problem of potential conflicts of interest and lack of disclosure by people involved in vaccination policy.
Previously, I forwarded two letters (19 March 2014 and 12 April 2014) to Professor Ian Olver, Chair of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee, challenging the Australian Government’s requirement for revaccination of children with a second dose of live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, as children are likely to be immune after the first dose of effective live MMR vaccine, given at the appropriate age (i.e. after maternally derived antibodies have waned).
I have received an interim response from the NHMRC dated 20 May 2014.
In regards to my queries re the MMR vaccine second dose the NHMRC advises:
AHEC discussed your correspondence at its recent meeting on 7 May 2014. The issues you have raised in relation to the dose requirements for the MMR vaccination raise matters of both a scientific/technical nature as well as procedural matters relating to the current process. Before providing you with a considered response, AHEC wishes to seek further information from the relevant government agencies responsible for Australia’s immunisation policy and its implementation.
In an email to Professor Anderson dated 16 April 2014, I again raised the problem of the lack of transparency about members of committees and groups who provide advice to the Australian Federal Government on vaccine products, also noting that the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee webpage provides no information about committee members, not even their affiliations.
In their letter dated 20 May 2014, the NHMRC responded:
In your email to Professor Anderson you raised that the declared interests of AHEC members are not publically available on the NHMRC website. Thank you for drawing this to our attention. The Office is in the process of rectifying this omission and you will be notified once these declarations are available…”
As two months have now passed since this interim response from the NHMRC, I am following up on progress on these matters.