Safer vaccine letter

Following is a copy of Stephen Andrew’s letter to the Chief Health Officer and Minister for Health regarding a safer vaccine option.


Dear Dr. Young and Minister for Health,

RE:          Flinders University vaccine with outstanding protection

As the Member for Mirani and Health Committee Member, I would like to put the following on the record for Public Scrutiny and evaluation during this time of “unprecedented COVID-19 emergency powers” and the limited choice in which people have concerning the vaccines and personal health choices that surround these limited options. While I note that the state government is not responsible for the roll-out of vaccines for COVID-19, I am concerned by the national approach to vaccine development and the vaccination program in this state. At the recent estimates hearing I asked about the Queensland Institute of Medical Research’s (QIMR) and Government involvement in vaccine development and if the QIMR had collaborated with Flinders University. QIMR confirmed that they were not currently engaged in developing vaccines for COVID-19.

Mr ANDREW: Professor, are you aware of any other Australian protein based vaccines that could be effective against COVID-19? Have you reached out to anyone within the Australian community who develops vaccines about that?

Prof. Mackay: I have not had a recent update on the vaccines that are specific for COVID-19. I know that our colleagues and collaborators at UQ are still working on their current prototype vaccines. There are other people in Australia working on prototype vaccines for COVID-19. We can offer a facility—it is a high-containment facility—where we can work on COVID-19. Certainly, through collaboration, we can help those programs and check the efficacy of those vaccines.

Mr ANDREW: Have you worked with Flinders University in the past?

Prof. Mackay: Not yet. We do not currently have a collaboration with them, but we have heard about their work.

As per my questions on the 30th of July (extract attached), in a case of emergency I would have thought that the Queensland Government would take very seriously all correspondence concerning safe and effective vaccines. I was made aware that a Mr. Petrovsky sent an email (refer email below) to the Health Ministers Office Wednesday, 21st July 2021 2:33 PM (pre-estimates) seemed to be either missed or not taken into consideration pre estimates as it seemed the Government and associated Departments were not made aware of this important information concerning this Australian technological breakthrough concerning a vaccine alternative.

Why was this not taken seriously, in a “State of Emergency”? Why wasn’t genuine consideration given to what could possibly turn the tide concerning vaccinations thus allowing normality back to our State and Country? Surely Queensland and indeed Australia would embrace this vaccine, a trusted traditional vaccine that requires no special temperature storage, a safe long-term option that can be altered against mutations in days.

Below, I include recommendations included in an email from Mr. Petrovsky outlining funding and Governmental assistance that is required. I implore the Chief Health Officer and Health Minister to act on this in earnest.

Critical information: Phase 2 clinical trial has shown that the vaccine is well tolerated, we need resources from the Australian Government that will enable us to quickly have this vaccine out to give the Australian public a safe choice.

Protein vaccines have been around for over fifteen (15) years and are known to be well tolerated and effective. It is unethical to offer a vaccine with known side effects if there is a safer alternative.

Resources could look like:

  • A pre-purchase contract with the same Terms as Qld and CSL were given.
  • CSL helping us to manufacturer – not that they have protein vaccine capabilities at the moment.
  • Building a manufacturing plant in South Australia or Queensland to manufacture protein vaccines.
  • Waiving the TGA fee for regulatory approval.
  • Funding a Regulatory Consultant to help navigate the approval process.
  • Give Mr. Petrovsky priority process through the AQIS system – which holds up and sends back numerous products that continually delay his team’s research.
  • Lobby Flinders University for more laboratory space – as they are about to close one of their laboratories for three months but can’t find alternative space which will mean further delays.
  • Have Queensland incentivise Vaxine Pty Ltd to move to Brisbane. So, Qld can claim an Australian Vaccine.
  • Just endorsing Mr. Petrovsky would help him develop this vaccine overseas which means he could bring it home quickly. (It needs to be tested in countries with high virus rates).

I respectfully request you give this your utmost attention and provide a response urgently.




Stephen Andrew MP

Member for Mirani

Health and Environment Committee Member

Queensland Parliament

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