Covid vaccine maker Moderna employs Jonathan Van-Tam for ‘consulting’ role

England’s former deputy chief medical officer has accepted a position with biotechnology firm Moderna.

Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, 59, one of the many faces of the Government’s Covid response, has become a part-time consultant for the vaccine giant that helped pioneer the live-saving jab.

The Health Protection professor, known affectionately as JVT, commenced the role in May, according to recent business filings – two months after he stepped down from his Government role.

Moderna has eagerly welcomed the public health expert, known for his no-nonsense yet compelling Downing Street briefings, as a clinical advisor, stating his recruitment followed official rules.

But his appointment may still stir some controversy, with attention landing on the “revolving door” between public and private sector jobs.

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Dr Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said Sir Jonathan’s experience and expertise would prove invaluable as Moderna works to “improve population health security”.

The expert’s agreement with the firm will form part of his “portfolio-based career”, the firm said in a statement, that will allow him to remain senior strategy adviser in medicine at the University of Nottingham.

Politicians and public servants have caused an outcry by accepting high-paying private positions in recent years, with some former official figures using their new jobs to lobby the Government.

In 2021, David Cameron sparked controversy when it was revealed that he had lobbied members of the Government on behalf of financial services firm Greensill Capital.

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Former Chancellor Sajid Javid prompted a similar outcry when he accepted a high-paying position with JP Morgan in 2020.

He stepped down from the role when he was appointed to Boris Johnson’s cabinet in 2021.

Moderna has insisted Sir Jonathan’s appointment is above-board and follows official employment protocols required for public servants.

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The US-based firm said the appointment was made “in accordance with the Department for Health and Social Care in England’s business appointment rules policy”.

While working as deputy chief medical officer for England, Sir Jonathan was made a member of the Vaccine Task Force.

According to the Government, the team was employed to make decisions on “all vaccine supply contracts and major investments in manufacturing and clinical opportunities”.

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