Legislative Council: Wednesday, July 03, 2019


Vaccine Research

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (14:45): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Health and Wellbeing regarding vaccine trials at the Flinders Medical Centre.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: Yesterday, I raised serious concerns about the conduct of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network in blocking and sabotaging life-saving vaccine trials by the internationally acclaimed research company Vaxine, headed by Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, who, as it turns out, has been extremely busy in the past 24 hours meeting numerous international media requests on their breakthrough technology announced yesterday. Vaxine has been operating successfully from labs it leases from the government, so its work does not cost taxpayers one cent. It gets its funding from the US government.

I would like to clarify a point I made yesterday when I said that SALHN ordered Vaxine to cease one vaccine trial while it was in progress. I have since discovered that I greatly underestimated this unethical intrusion: in fact, SALHN stopped not one but three vaccine trials covering influenza, hepatitis and cancer research, and it has cost the company millions of dollars. My question to the minister is:

1. Has the minister sought an explanation from SALHN about why these trials were stopped midstream?

2. Does he accept that the actions of SALHN have now exposed the government to the risk of legal action to recover any losses incurred by Vaxine?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:47): I thank the honourable member for his question. As I indicated to the honourable member yesterday, I am following up issues in relation to SALHN and governance of medical research. The issues the honourable member raises will certainly be part of that conversation.