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PM Modi Must Rescue Vaccine Programme from Vested Interests

Logo_2Opinion piece ran March 26, 2016

By Jacob Puliyel

Dr Puliyel, paediatrician  at  Delhi’s St Stephen’s Hospital, describes in Sunday Guardian Live    how the direction of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), the equivalent of US’s Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP)or the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has been handed over to the direction of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with potentially disastrous consequences for Indian health. The situation has disturbing  parallels with what is now happening in the UK.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF’s) prescription of foreign drugs for India’s poor and the way in which it has become a major influence within key ministries in Government of India was mentioned in this newspaper recently (The Sunday Guardian, 7 February 2016). The links with the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) were described. The article also highlighted the investments of the foundation and the board members in US-EU Big Pharma stocks and the resulting possible conflict of interests.

The vaccine market in India is potentially one of the largest in the world. The government is advised on what vaccines to include in the national immunisation programme by a committee of experts called the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).

This body is expected to evaluate the vaccines, their costs and benefits for the country. Vaccines whose cost far exceeds the benefits are not to be recommended. But the entire secretariat of the NTAGI has now been outsourced to the BMGF. Called the Immunisation Technical Support Unit (ITSU), the secretariat is funded by the Gates Foundation and has been moved out of the Nirman Bhawan, where the Ministry of Health is located, into the PHFI.

It is as if the resources of the Indian government machinery cannot stretch to pay the salaries of the 32 people in this secretariat. ITSU now puts together the papers supporting vaccines and it decides the agenda of the NTAGI and also controls what is recorded as minutes of the meetings.

To ensure that the public is kept in the dark about how the public health policy on vaccines is formulated, the new secretariat has introduced draconian confidentiality clauses....

Postscript  by John Stone

This would appear to have interesting parallels with what has been happening with UK’s JCVI, which suddenly moved from a Department of Health building in London to Oxford Martin School in Oxford of which the chairman, Prof Andrew Pollard, is a senior fellow. While minutes of the four monthly meetings are minuted committee members were entertained on the most recent occasion at Prof Pollard’s college, St Cross the day before it. The parent body of Oxford Vaccine Group, of which Prof Pollard is director is the Jenner Vaccine Institute which receives support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2014 Prof Pollard chaired a meeting of the JCVI in which Bexsero Men B vaccine, for which he was lead developer with Oxford Vaccine Group, was recommended for use.



Indian govt needs a wakeup call
pentavalent & other controversial vaccines now a part of UIP

Anita Donnelly

Wow. I have alwaus been appalled at Microsoft --in fact they invented lying trolls and would invade nice self help software forums of competitors like Lotus Notes and introduce derision and snark. I never made the connection before to the vax trolls. Holy crap batman that same cruel arrogant spirit. The kill off all dissent --they ruined a startup named GO that invented tablet computing by stealing their ideas and then announcing pen Windows which never happened . We in the industry have always marveled that they named themselves such an insulting name micro and soft. I once defended b gates to Kim because I once met him and he seemed so nerdy and I had a wrong stereotype that nerds could be reached by truth. Not that nerd. Power hungry unethical a hole. Sorry. I never do ad hominem attacks but he called us babykillers projecting his deep guilt on to us.

Jonathan Rose

Exactly, John. Under the old imperialism there was economic exploitation, but the mother country had to provide some basic services: police, public health, education, infrastructure. Now that these countries are "independent", they're responsible for services, while Western corporations can focus on the exploitation. Far more cost-effective, really.

re. Bill Gates

Bill Gates and his creepy monopolization of the vaccine programs is one of the biggest stories (horror genre) going.

Paul Champion

@Grace Green
Err? But Apple (nor Linux for that mater) suffer from computer viruses..., Oh! See what you mean. An Apple a day keeps Bill Gates away.

James Grundvig

First off, Microsoft operating system sucks completely. Totally buggy, cheaply designed, full of hacking holes. I used it only when I used to work at corporations; I have never owned privately a PC, only Macs. That said, I wouldn't put the turn nerd Bill Gates in charge of any international body on vaccines. It's bad enough he invaded households; it worse that he now intends to invade our bodies and make a killing over it. India better grow a spine and reject most of the unnecessary crap vaccines that do nothing but introduce autism and ADD, ADHD, among other immuno, neuro issues.

Grace Green

Get security AND pull the financial rug from under his feet by investing in an Apple!

John Stone


Indeed, empires are built in different ways now, and across states. Everyone had to have Gates's software and now they have to have his vaccines, which is far worse. Ruling elites are simply clients to the great project: more and more they simply facilitate. We also had an excruciating GAVI conference the Cameron and Gates in London in 2011: anything goes because vaccines are considered to a universal good.

Jonathan Rose

On college campuses right now there's a lot of interest in "postcolonial studies".

I can't understand why they call it "post".


Reminds me of the UK`s JCVI which Mr Stone has written about obviously a format being copied world wide is ..... IF YOU DONT HAVE CONFLICTS YOU CANT BE IN THE VACCINE CLUB.


Paul Champion

Microsoft denied its consumers a host of new technologies.

The healthcare equivalent under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be to deny.… leave it to you to finish off my sentence.

Its one thing to get monopolistic with software but extending his influence into Liveware is abhorrent.

Paul Champion

Looks like Billy Gates is still using his tried and tested embrace, extend and extinguish routine.,_extend_and_extinguish

Once the Indian government looses its oversight of healthcare, it will never be able to get it back again. It will become the 51st State of the US.

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