Victorian MLC Moira Deeming: the pretty face of…

“I can’t wait until I’m legally able to hunt you down.” This curse…

Science & Technology Australia welcomes National Reconstruction Fund

Science & Technology Australia Media Release The nation’s peak body representing 115,000 Australian…

Calculated Exoneration: Command Responsibility and War Crimes in…

Being the scapegoat of tribal lore cast out with the heavy weight…

The Voice: Remember When The Liberals Were Still…

At the moment we're witnessing the Liberal Party at their absurd best.…

Nazis on our streets: don't judge protesters by…

On some level, it is straightforward for a Neo-Nazi protest to be…

Whither Constitutional Change?

Within a very short space of time, we are going to be…

A Hazardous Decision: Supplying Ukraine with Depleted Uranium…

Should they be taking them? Ukraine is desperate for any bit of…

Murdoch's Zero Sum games: divisive propaganda meant to…

The Murdoch media drives resentment with propaganda as constant as drums of…


How much did the AstraZeneca vaccine cost us, Scott Morrison?

By Matthew Reddin

With the government choosing to shelve the AstraZeneca vaccine, it’s time they tell us how much this failure cost the taxpayer.

The federal government has now decided to shelve the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. It was announced last week that the vaccine will be restricted to those over 60 because of how it had links to an extremely rare blood clotting condition.

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) is a rare syndrome which has been reported after being given the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. It involves blood clots (occurring in body sites like the brain or abdomen) together with low platelet levels. The clotting may occur in around four to six people in every million after being vaccinated.

The Guardian is reporting the government has announced plans to shelve the supposedly controversial vaccine by October, suggesting it will have enough supplies of other vaccines to meet ‘allocation horizons’ for vaccinating the population by year’s end.

It also seems to have enough supply of biz-speak weasel words like ‘allocation horizons’; we’ll soldier on.

To this day (Thursday 24 June), the Health Department website continues to bloviate on the A-Z’s bonafides:

“50 million doses will be manufactured in Australia by multinational biopharmaceutical company CSL, in partnership with the developer, international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Distribution of these Australian-made CSL doses has commenced and will continue on an ongoing basis.”

Per the website, in July and August, AstraZeneca will continue to be administered, with up to 2.6m doses being doled out each week, mostly to those over 60, through state and territory clinics and the primary care network.

Show me the money

Canberra is being extremely tight-lipped about the detail of the A-Z contract, admitting the amount of doses it ordered, but not their cost. There’s nothing on the AusTender site, and there’s very little that’s been reported in the press about how much it all cost. The federal government is refusing to say how much it is paying the four companies it contracted to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, saying the information is “commercial in confidence.” initially covered the deal last September, noting the Australian government had made a $A1.7 billion supply and production agreement for Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines, with the first doses set to arrive in January 2021. At the time, the reporting was that 33.8 million doses were coming from AZ, an additional 30 million doses being manufactured by CSL, and 51 million doses to be secured from the now-abandoned University of Queensland operation.

Per the government’s own vaccine info on the Department of Health’s website:

“Australia has entered into 5 separate agreements to secure more than 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines if they prove to be safe and effective.” [The ‘if’ in that sentence doing a lot of the heavy lifting there].

The Australian Government has invested over $5 billion in these agreements (Pfizer, Moderna, University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Novavax, and the Covax Facility). This will, according to the Health site, “strengthen Australia’s position to have safe and effective vaccines as they become available.”

Somewhere in there among the $5 billion is the $350 million invested:

“… to support vaccine research and development. The investment will contribute to the global effort to find successful vaccines and treatments to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Safety first

According to the University of Melbourne:

“Nearly all the world’s immunologists, virologists, medical professionals, and public health experts agree that COVID-19 vaccines, including AstraZeneca, have minimal risk to recommended subgroups and significant benefit.”

But enough cases of TTS, with a few fatalities, is not a good look for a government already pedalling fast to control the story. Pfizer is clearly the vaccine to have, but its available numbers are nowhere near meeting the demand.

Dr Norman Swan claimed on ABC Radio that Australia was offered the same preferential Pfizer vaccine access that Israel has enjoyed since late 2020, but the government took a different route.

“I’ve now had three sources telling me the same story, including from the United States, of what happened with Pfizer last June,” Swan told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Raf Epstein.

From what we can gather, the option was presented to the government to have enough Pfizer doses to vaccinate the entire (willing) population, but they seem to have gone all-in on the AZ instead – for whatever reason. Now that the AZ has been presenting with infinitesimally small, yet tangible enough statistics to take the sheen off the brand, they’re trying to quietly put the AZ in the too-hard basket and double-down on Pfizer, whose popularity vastly outweighs its availability.

Meanwhile, 177 million doses being administered in the US (53.9% of the population), and 5.5 million doses in Israel (60% of the population).

All up, 10.1% of the global population have been vaccinated. 6.72 million vaccine doses have been administered in Australia, with 1.09 million Australians fully vaccinated against COVID, constituting 4.3% of the population.

As NSW teeters on the precipice of another lockdown, feel free to insert one’s own ‘gold standard’ reference here.

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

 646 total views,  6 views today


Login here Register here
  1. Jack Cade

    Whatever the AstraZeneca vaccine costs us, it is being provided ‘at cost’ Pfizer, on the other hand, was described as ‘utterly unscrupulous’ by a leading British consultant surgeon and is rumoured to charge multiple thousand $US for medicines that costs a pittance to manufacture. And Pfizer exemplifies US big pharma, a spokesman for which said “We don’t work on cures; cures affect our bottom line. We prefer ‘containment”’.’

  2. king1394

    I am getting more and more distrustful about the current federal government, their management of COVID, and the movement of people into this country whether expatriots or migrants or refugees, quarantine, vaccines, the running down of Medicare, the Indue card, climate change readiness, etc and the Liberal National parties’ revolving door. Anything they touch is an epic fail.

  3. Williambtm

    It has become a realizable fact that the L/NP party and Scomo as their spry pack leader contribute nothing beneficial to the people of Australia nor to the benefit of this World’s humankind.

    I recall a mainstream media article carried a story that mentioned Astra Zeneca and $818 million that was to be directed to that mob to manufacture a vaccine to halt the beasties concerning the dreaded COVID19.

    I have attempted to locate that media article online, but no hint of its existence remains.
    Do any subscribers recall that media article?

  4. wam

    Just another chapter in the unlimited access to cash to splash without any accountability(thanks chrissie).
    Albo might find some purchase with kochie and karl baby if he can retell covid as a conspiracy of cash, as well as an error of judgement
    that exposed Australians to a risk that caused worry and even grief to many families.

  5. Margot

    Some corporate information for both Pfizer and AstraZeneca

    Pfizer: Corporate Rap Sheet
    By Philip Mattera's%20list%20of,without%20consent%20from%20their%20parents.
    Violation Tracker Parent Company Summary
    Parent Company Name: Pfizer
    Ownership Structure: publicly traded (ticker symbol PFE)

    AstraZeneca: Corporate Rap Sheet
    By Philip Mattera
    Violation Tracker Parent Company Summary
    Parent Company Name: AstraZeneca
    Ownership Structure: publicly traded (ticker symbol AZN)

  6. TuffGuy

    KNowing this corrupt and incompetent government as we do we can be 100% certain there is a reason they chose AZ as the primary vaccine, there is a reason they chose to take charge of the vaccine rollout, there is a reason they chose the companies they did to distribute the vaccines. And those very reasons are exactly why everything down to the last little details is being kept secret, to hide corruption. We know there must be some LNP connections to the AZ company, that then leads to the secret price paid for the vaccine, we know the companies selected (without tender as is usual with this government when giving mates contracts) are all lieberal donors.
    We also know this government hates criticism and will do ANYTHING to avoid it, which seems to be getting harder mostly due to their own complete and utter incompetence.

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    Tuffguy….. It is common knowledge that as soon as Cabinet decided to go with AstraZeneca and the CSL, a Melbourne based company was chosen to manufacture the vaccine, many Coalition MPs and their mates and those connected to them, invested heavily in CSL (Commonwealth Serum Laboratories) shares. Business as usual for the most corrupt bunch of bastards who ever governed this country. No wonder they fight like hyenas every time someone mentions a Royal commission into corruption.

  8. skip



    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit the emergency use of the unapproved product, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 12 years of age and older.

    Vaccination providers enrolled in the federal COVID-19 Vaccination Program must report all vaccine administration errors, all serious adverse events, cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS) in adults and children, and cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. See “MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE ADMINISTRATION UNDER EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION” for reporting requirements.


    Do not administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals with known history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (see Full EUA Prescribing Information).

    Appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
    Monitor Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine recipients for the occurrence of immediate adverse reactions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines ( considerations/managing-anaphylaxis.html).

    Syncope (fainting) may occur in association with administration of injectable vaccines, in particular in adolescents. Procedures should be in place to avoid injury from fainting.

    Immunocompromised persons, including individuals receiving immunosuppressant therapy, may have a diminished immune response to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

    Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine may not protect all vaccine recipients.

    Adverse Reactions

    Adverse Reactions in Clinical Trials

    Adverse reactions following the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine that have been reported in clinical trials include injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, malaise, and lymphadenopathy (see Full EUA Prescribing Information).

    Adverse Reactions in Post Authorization Experience
    Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, and other hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., rash, pruritus, urticaria, angioedema), diarrhea, vomiting, and pain in extremity (arm) have been reported following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine outside of clinical trials.

    Additional adverse reactions, some of which may be serious, may become apparent with more widespread use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

    Revised: 19 May 2021

  9. Jon Chesterson


    What was the cost and so many other unanswered questions?

    Firstly there was the botched decision to put all our eggs in the wrong basket and go with a vaccine which would become the least effective and carry the highest if not unknown serious adverse health risks including serious long term consequences for millions and unacceptable risk of death to a small vulnerable group of people who are predisposed to ‘rare’ autoimmune clotting disorders. Safe vaccines normally take years of research this was a rushed decision made without available scientific evidence at the time and later forced on the Australian population (especially people over 50) without choice or precedence. There was no weighing up the balance, no long term plan, no risk assessment, no contingency panning – Just a short term opportunistic loud mouthed chain of announcements to roll a broken wagon all the way down hill.

    Then there was the insider knowledge, information and conflict of interest Federal Liberal politicians and ministers had prior to Morrison placing an unprecedented massive contract with AstraZeneca and CSL, enabling them to invest in both companies for their own wealth accumulation and gain, that created this vaccine monopoly as the workhorse for the entire nation; and contrary to New Zealand that more legitimately and wisely chose Pfizer. Cheap and easy would have had something to do with it, and the opportunity to profit off a vaccine which was low cost because it had already been declared for non-profit by the manufacturer, a hard pill to swallow when you consider the size of this unrivalled contract. How little Morrison thinks of the people of Australia, how little worth, but fit to see a financial and electoral marketing opportunity and make it up as he goes along.

    Then there was the refusal by the Morrison government to procure viable alternatives given the known risk of a single large advanced purchase should something later go wrong with the science, the economics or the supply.This included rejection of the option to purchase Pfizer at an earlier date.

    Then there was the scandal of government misinformation and falsified public health messaging and collusion regarding the safety of this vaccine which persists to this day. Random statistical guesses likened to winning the lottery on risk of serious clotting and death, which were at deference to scientific method, research and evidence already emerging at the time from other countries in Europe such as Norway. Over subsequent months earlier in the year, the prevalence and incidence statistics rose dramatically as concurrently age sensitive data was obscured by the decision to give AstraZeneca exclusively to people over 50, while in aged care private companies administering the vaccine failed to record and report data to the TGA, ATAGI and government on who had and hadn’t been vaccinated in this highly vulnerable group. Accordingly, data on serious adverse effects, illness, clotting and death would go unrecorded and unreported to this day.

    At the same time there was the unprecedented decision to give people under 50 a choice of vaccine, preferring Pfizer while insisting on safety, but formulating an excuse based on misleading risk analysis in a country where the prevalence of COVID was exceptionally low compared to other countries, but allowing government to force AstraZeneca on to everyone over 50 – Arguably half the population, the most vulnerable population became the scapegoat for a political stunt, designed more to protect the government from its investments, incompetence, speculative and rogue decision making than in the interests of public health and transparency. Apart from a fundamental suppression of civil liberty and choice, this pitted a class war based on age and denied basic civilian choice and medical rights for one group, while afforded to another, unprecedented in a ‘liberal’ democracy such as Australia professes to be. What might have been expediently argued for the UK in the middle of unprecedented rates of disease and death was just not the case in Australia.

    Then came the reports that many older people including those most vulnerable in aged care who were meant to have been vaccinated hadn’t actually been vaccinated and still remain unvaccinated to this day. This was suppressed because no consistent and reliable data was being collected by the private contracted companies rolling out the vaccines.

    Mainstream media turned a blind eye to all of this and to the fact the Morrison government had chosen to largely by-pass the public health system and pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to private companies to almost exclusively deliver the AstraZeneca to Aged Care recipients and Pfizer to everyone else under 50 through strictly controlled privately run vaccination hubs with a government app that excluded people over 50 from accessing these hubs.

    Meanwhile, other countries such as Israel and US were successfully vaccinating millions much faster through existing public health and national infrastructure, and who had had the foresight to secure and early supply.The UK led the world by appropriately deploying the National Health Health Service (NHS) to rollout its vaccination program; which is largely mirrored by our State public health system in Australia. But Australia did not use it’s existing infrastructure. Instead confined the State public health system to largely in vaccinating only its own staff, providing only as much vaccine as was required to do so. This was a deliberate two pronged strategy to control and limit access in accordance with Liberal decree, political and fiscal ideologies, while protecting its own government led financial interests and gross multiple errors of judgment, and avoiding any controversy in the mainstream media or public consciousness. To aid and abet this, the Morrison government purposively put out its misinformation campaign of vaccine hesitancy in older people supported by its falsified risk analyses and data omissions knowing full well the mainstream media and younger generations would blame people over 50 while they themselves were denied access to vaccination; fuelled by the knowledge the government had already sided the debate in their favour by granting them access to Pfizer. The dual subliminal message being to younger generations ‘we have your back’ and the incongruence of not being safe for younger people, but perfectly good for older Australians – which we knew at the time was a false irrational narrative based on a manipulated understanding of risk analysis which did not apply to the Australian context. By getting the Chief and senior Commonwealth medical officer/s and public servants, the TGA and ATAGI to convey this message along with the fumbling dumbledom of the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, the narrative became audible if repeated often enough to cause indigestion and finger pointing at those who had a healthier and critical appetite.

    Now, as AstraZeneca is being withdrawn by the Australian government we have reached a point at which much of the money on producing AstraZeneca is already spent, but the vast majority of supply will not be used, arguable wasted or not even produced. And the big question of course is how much? It probably runs into millions for AstraZeneca, CSL and the five private companies in charge of the national rollout and barely 10% of Australians have been fully vaccinated. How much was spent? The Morrison government isn’t telling us. We have been here so many times before with Robodebt, Indue cashless welfare card, sports rorts and pork barrelling, ADANI coal mining in Queensland, privatisation of the energy sector, NBN, grants allocation for the great Barrier Reef, Murray-Darling water crisis and distribution, and the list just goes on and on and on!

    And here we are. Once we were well ahead of the game with an astonishingly low level of COVID-19 exposure compared to the world at large, albeit not because of anything the Morrison government did or failed to do. This catalog of failure and corruption is mirrored throughout the containment, quarantine and border control fiascos – The cruise ships, hotel quarantine and conditions, absence and delays in building safe and appropriate quarantine facilities, preventing and criminalising Australian citizens from returning home, abandoning Australian citizens overseas just like refugees. Now we are the last to vaccinate our population in any coherent and effective manner without disdain, disorder, chaos, conflict and collusion. Here we are – poised for the Delta wave.

    Morrison’s catalog of achievements in his short term of office. What will be the cost?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: