Jonathan Van-Tam takes job at vaccine maker Moderna

Former deputy chief medical officer’s new role emerges through DHSC transparency data
Jonathan Van-Tam Photo: GOV.UK

By Jim Dunton

18 Aug 2023

England’s former deputy chief medical officer Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, who became a household name for his pandemic-time briefings, has taken a new role with Covid vaccine-maker Moderna, it has emerged.

Van-Tam, or “JVT” as he became known to the nation, stepped down from his government role at the Department of Health and Social Care in March 2022. He had joined England’s top medical advisory team in 2017 on secondment from the University of Nottingham.

Transparency data published by DHSC earlier this week states that Van-Tam took up a new role as “senior consultant medical affairs” at Moderna in May.

Among the department’s conditions for approving Van-Tam’s new role were that he undertakes no lobbying of DHSC or its executive agencies before March next year, which will mark two years from his civil service departure.

He is also not allowed to be involved in bids related to DHSC or its executive agencies during the same period.

Additionally, DHSC said its former deputy chief medical officer had been reminded that privileged information from his time in government should not be used to “further interests outside government”.

Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr Paul Burton told the Financial Times that Van-Tam’s “significant experience and expertise as a specialist in influenza” would be a “vital asset” to the company.

Van-Tam worked on the Vaccine Taskforce and supported the development of treatments during the pandemic. He also played a critical role in previous incidents such as MERS and monkeypox outbreaks, the 2017 to 2018 winter flu and the response to the novichok attacks in 2018.

Van-Tam’s previous jobs include stints at the pharmaceutical companies Roche and Aventis Pasteur MSD, and serving as editor-in-chief of the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, after five years of providing medical care in hospitals.

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