In Australia from 2005 – 2014 the chair of the Australian government’s vaccine advisory board (ATAGI) who recommends new vaccines for the national vaccination program was Terry Nolan. Prior to this job he was the head of the largest vaccine research and development program in Australia – VirGo (1990 – 2005) – at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). Further, the mandating of 12+ vaccines for social services in Australia (No Jab No Pay/Play legislation) was promoted to Australians through the mainstream Australian media that is ~80% owned by Rupert Murdoch and who established the MCRI with a contribution of $5 million in 1985.
During this decade Terry Nolan’s role was to recommend vaccines directly to the Health Minister and many new vaccines were added during this decade. He was also the deputy-chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) at this time and in this role he influenced the direction of government funding for new research projects on vaccines. This is significant because areas of science can be systematicallly de-funded to produce areas of ignorance in scientific knowledge. This results in ‘undone science’ when important areas of science are left unfunded.
My PhD thesis describes the areas of undone science in vaccination policy that have led the Australian government to make assumptions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines in its national vaccination policy, instead of using empirical knowledge of the benefits and risks of vaccines. These assumptions are even hidden from researchers because the government uses mathematical modeling with algorithms that do not reveal to the public the parameters of ‘risk’ or ‘benefit’ that are being used to claim that a vaccine is a cost-effective measure in the population.
The potential conflicts of interest of Terry Nolan were never publicised on the government website from 2005 – 2014. Terry Nolan retired in December 2014 to return to his role as head of VirGo at the MCRI and in advising the World Health Organisation (WHO) on influenza policy on the SAGE committee. The Australian government did not publish the COI of vaccine advisory board members on the website until February 2015.
Judy Wilyman PhD