On 29 March Cathy O’Leary, medical editor (medical editor’s do not require health qualifications) at the West Australian newspaper, published a story titled “HPV Jabs lag in Northern Suburbs” to encourage the uptake of HPV vaccines. This article provides false and misleading information to the public about the cause of cervical cancer and the value of using a vaccine. Cathy O’Leary has quoted an official as saying “HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection which affects about four out of five people at some point in their lives,” However she does not state that the majority of HPV infections do not lead to cervical cancer – they are harmless in most cases and an HPV infection is “an insufficient cause of cervical cancer”. Lifestyle and environmental factors are required for the progression to cancer and this is why 90% of cervical cancer occurs in the developing countries – not Australia and other developed nations.
This information is available in my article published in the Infectious Agents and Cancer journal in 2013 “HPV Vaccination Programs have not been shown to be Cost-Effective in Countries with Comprehensive Pap-Screening and Surgery“. Please also read what Gary G. Kohls MD has to say about the HPV vaccine “Duty to Warn – Aluminium, Autoimmunity, Autism and Alzheimer’s” Or this article in PubMed titled “Vaccines, Adjuvants and Autoimmunity” which describes the serious neurological and autoimmune damage caused by this vaccine.
We also have government advisors to our Federal Health Minister that have potential conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies. For example, Terry Nolan, chairman of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) from 2005 until December 2014 declared the following financial COI:
- Being a member of a CSL vaccine advisory board (at some time) and receiving nominal payments (honoraria) as well as support for conference attendance from CSL Ltd, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. He was also the chief investigator of the clinical trial for CSL’s Panvax influenza vaccine in 400 children in 2009 whilst he was on the government’s primary advisory boards for vaccination policy-decisions at the time
Terry Nolan advised the Australian Health Minister on vaccine recommendations for a decade and he was also the deputy chairman of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) that determines funding allocation for research projects. Potential conflicts of interest for government representatives on vaccine advisory boards were not published on the government website until February 2015 – after Terry Nolan had retired from this position.
The co-directors of Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), Peter McIntyre and Robert Booy, have also been in these roles for a decade and have declared potential COI. Here are the declared COI for Robert Booy:
- He is also a member of the government’s advisory committee on influenza – the Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) that is 100% funded by industry. Whilst holding these positions he was also an investigator in the clinical trial for the safety and efficacy of children’s Panvax (H1N1) influenza vaccine in 2009 which was funded by CSL. He has received support from CSL limited and other pharmaceutical companies to attend conferences. He has been a representative on a vaccine advisory board for these companies at various times and has also received funding from Roche, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth for attending and presenting at scientific meetings.
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- JUDY WILYMAN