In order for the Department of Health to pursue its mission and to maintain its reputation with the public and health care providers, it is important that the decisions and actions of the Washington State Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) not be unduly influenced by the special interests of individual members.
Accordingly, the VAC has adopted the following Conflict of Interest Policy:
Decisions made by committee members should always be based solely on the best interest of the department and the people of Washington State. Decisions should not be influenced by personal financial interest or by other extraneous considerations. Any affiliation with an organization having fundamental goals that conflict with the department and VAC mission should be avoided. Any current, previous (within two years), or future potential conflict of interest should be disclosed at the beginning of each VAC meeting.
A potential conflict of interest exists when a committee member has a relationship or engages in any activity, or has any personal financial interest which might impair their independence or judgment or inappropriately influence their decisions or actions concerning VAC matters.
A potential conflict of interest exists and should be disclosed if the committee member:
- Has a relationship with an entity that benefits financially from the sale of vaccines, such as a consultancy, serving on a speakers bureau, receiving honoraria, research and/or travel support.
- Owns a material financial interest in any business that provides or seeks to provide goods or services to the department.
- Serves as an officer or participates on the board or committees of other related professional societies that receive direct financial benefit from the sale of vaccines.
- Has an affiliation with an organization that has a financial interest in VAC recommendations.
- Has an affiliation with an organization that has a competing activity.
Each committee member has a high duty and obligation to disclose to the entire committee any potential conflict of interest and to abstain from any decision where a significant conflict of interest exists. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the entire committee to determine what, if any, limitations on activities with regard to the committee member's conflict are required to protect the VAC.