Pauline Hanson has announced she will refuse the Covid-19 vaccine and has questioned Australia’s official death toll.
The One Nation Senator has been slammed with accusations of putting public health at risk by causing people to doubt the safety of the vaccine.
‘It’s my choice whether I want to have it. Don’t you be concerned; if you have your vaccine, you’re protected, you’re fine,’ the Senator told Sky News on Tuesday.
Pauline Hanson announced on Tuesday she will refuse the Covid-19 vaccine and has questioned Australia’s official death toll
Ms Hanson revealed she doesn’t plan on getting immunised, has never got a flu shot, and doesn’t plan on getting one of them either.
Labor health spokesman Mark Butler has responded to the Senator by saying ‘there is no place for dangerous disinformation’.
He likened her statements to those of MP Craig Kelly, who resigned from the Liberal Party in February but still remains in Parliament as an independent.
While the controversial MP has insisted he is not an anti-vaxxer Mr Kelly cast doubt on the Covid-19 vaccine and repeatedly endorsed the use of drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat the virus, despite global studies deeming them ineffective.
Labor’s Mark Butler responded to Ms Hanson’s comments saying ‘there is no place for dangerous disinformation’
Mr Butler said that Ms Hanson is ‘undermining the crucial advertising campaign for the vaccine rollout’ and asked the Prime Minister to take action.
‘Scott Morrison must stand up against Pauline Hanson’s dangerous and wrong health advice’, he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) was part of the first group to be immunised in Australia
The Prime Minister was one of the first to get immunised in Australia, receiving the Pfizer vaccine live on television to instill public confidence in the jab.
Australian Medical Association vice-president Chris Moy said Ms Hanson’s comments were ‘not leadership, they’re irresponsible’, when taking into consideration the Senator’s large following.
‘I think leadership which fails us by supporting conspiracy theories is not leadership,’ Dr Moy told NCA NewsWire.
He said Australia has had the extra benefit of observing overseas examples of the vaccine rollout, and said the jab had been fully tested for safety and effectiveness by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Australian Medical Association vice-president Chris Moy said the vaccine had been fully tested for safety and effectiveness by the TGA
Dr Moy also denied Ms Hanson’s claim that authorities had overestimated the death toll by counting people who had ‘died with Covid, not from it’.
The Senator attempted to undermine official numbers by alleging anyone who tested Covid-19 positive for the virus was recorded as having died from the virus.
‘If a person died in a car accident and they tested positive for Covid, that was a Covid death. That is wrong, that is deceiving the people,’ Ms Hanson claimed.
‘The recording of Covid-19 is no different to any other disease. A doctor would only list it as the underlying cause of death, or contributing cause, if they genuinely believed that,’ he rebuked.
WHY VACCINES ARE IMPORTANT
Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them.
Immunisation not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by reducing the spread of preventable diseases.
Research and testing is an essential part of developing safe and effective vaccines.
In Australia, vaccines must pass strict safety testing before the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will register them for use. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years.
Before vaccines become available to the public, large clinical trials test them on thousands of people.
High-quality studies over many years have compared the health of large numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Medical information from nearly 1.5 million children around the world have confirmed that vaccination does not cause autism.
People first became concerned about autism and immunisation after the medical journal The Lancet published a paper in 1998. This paper claimed there was a link between the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Since then, scientists have completely discredited this paper. The Lancet withdrew it in 2010 and printed an apology. The UK’s General Medical Council struck the author off the medical register for misconduct and dishonesty.
Source: Australian Department of Health