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Sometimes you wonder if the government gives a damn

I’m in the middle of a dilemma. A very worrying one, actually.

My rural Victorian city has been lucky – full credit to our townsfolk and the tough measures from our state government – in that COVID-19 has not yet pierced our invisible walls. Nonetheless, I am very keen to be vaccinated.

But there was a problem. AstraZeneca, which you have probably read, has been related to clotting deaths. The chances of dying from AZ clotting is infinitely small, but unfortunately, because of a hereditary condition (which I won’t go into), my doctor said that I’m one of that infinitely small number who is definitely at risk.

Naturally she wants me to be vaccinated, so her advice was to stay safe until Pfizer became available (which at that point, was not far away).

When Pfizer was available, I was in that age group – the wrong side of 60 – that could not have access to it.

Concerned, I wrote to Minister Hunt asking for an explanation of why – based on my condition and my doctor’s advice – I could not have access to Pfizer.

A few weeks later I received a polite two-page reply from the Department of Health telling me of the wonderful job the Federal Government was doing in response to the pandemic, and concluded that whilst they could not comment on my own condition, that if I had any concerns then I should consult my GP.

That last bit was rather odd, I thought, as I had consulted my GP… which was the reason I contacted Minister Hunt in the first place.

To satisfy myself about AstraZeneca – ie, whether it was safe for me – I sought a second opinion (same clinic, different doctor). After looking at my medical records, her advice was the same: AstraZeneca was too great a risk and she would be seeking approval for me to have Pfizer, as of course, she wanted me vaccinated.

She was unable to get that approval.

Nobody, it seems, gives a damn.

You can imagine how distressing this is; the constant government appeal to go get vaccinated yet I am not allowed to obtain the only vaccine currently available that has been recommended as suitable for me. Surely a mechanism might be available for those whose GPs do not recommend AstraZeneca in order that I might be vaccinated.

 

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43 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Ho hum Michael, just another example of how a government department is only as good as its minister, and in this case that is NOT a very high standard. Obviously eight (8) years of Liarbral ideological interference in the proper administration of Australia has left the shredded APS with only private school boys & girls intent on garnering their personal mouthful from the public funds trough rather than the necessary leadership skill required to run a large organisation.

    It is a little bit like the Front Door Gestapo Security Guard at a Canberra Hospital who on his own authority excludes the spouse with an exemption certificate allowing entry despite Lockdown Rules, of a quadriplegic friend suffering huge medical problems requiring considerable personal care.

    It is very sad when the level of unskilling preferred for Liarbral and Nazional$ politicians becomes the preferred standard in the business workplace.

  2. BB

    I’m in much the same boat Michael, though fortunately for me my bush rural lifestyle is already mostly self isolated.

    Due to past medical conditions I too have been advised by my GP not to have the AZ jab, but to have the Pfizer vaccine.

    When will it be available? He doesn’t know. Ha ha ha, don’t hold your breath, may as well ask how long is a piece of string.

    Just got to tough it out now, as for sure this liberal government for all it’s rhetoric doesn’t really give a rat’s arse for anyone.

    The wrong side of 60, lol, it’s all now contradictory bullshit about age, when it suits this bs government’s changing narrative.

    Because this bs government opted for the cheaper AZ, put all the eggs in one basket, we all suffer the L/NP incompetence!

    Morrison’s penny pinching fucked up the original purchase of 40 millions doses of Pfizer, landing all Australians in this mess.

    Moderna is on the horizon now and that may be a viable option.

    Who really knows anything anymore. SNAFU & FUBAR!
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-09/moderna-vaccine-australia-approval-who-can-access/100361930

    As usual the L/NP federal government is yet to set any eligibility requirements for it. Morrison, FFS, as usual has no plan.

  3. HENRY RODRIGUES

    Michael and BB….. Sorry to hear about your predicament. Another example of this vicious uncaring bunch of nincompoops. Anyone wondering why Scummo had his much publicised Pfizer shot earlier on. I’ll even bet his family and his close personal friends and acquaintainces have all taken the Pfizer shot.
    Always look after No 1. The rules these creeps live by.

  4. Kerri

    May I recommend 7.30 ?

    Or maybe try another tack by contacting a journo with a heart?
    You could give it a go!

    I do know of people who have had the Pfizer via their GP and booking it.

    My thoughts are with you Michael.

    I was nervous, given I have interstitial lung disease and was undergoing chemotherapy and living on a cocktail of other meds, but I went to see my GP for scripts and she organised the jab on the spot before I had a chance to consult my question list.

    It was AZ. I had zero reaction to it so now I question if all the immunosuppression has overridden the vaccine.

    I hope you can get Pfizer. Your life is too important to be lost by the incompetence you have pointed out via this group.

  5. Alasdair

    I myself have no doubts: this government really doesn’t give a damn. Never have, never will, They simply don’t care. (Not quite true, they “care” enough sometimes to be actively malicious ands cruel.) They are an affront to every possible notion of common decency, and in upholding the public good.

    I’m sorry to hear about your medical condition that has increased the chance of an adverse reaction to AZ. But this government is only keen on puffery and photo-ops, and as far as I can tell, not one thing more.

  6. New England Cocky

    @Micheal Taylor& BB; I noted on my applicatin that I preferred Pfizer to AZ due to medical condition. The local hospital rang and almost apologetically offered Pfizer … and I gratefully accepted. Good luck!! Keep pestering them.

  7. GL

    The only time the LNP really gives any kind of damn is two minutes after an election is called and that’s when the peasants become people and are suddenly the most important thing in the whole wide world.

  8. Keitha Granville

    you can bet your life that EVERY LNP MP and families have had the jab, probably Pfizer, even their children.
    But they’re special didn’t you know ? Essential workers, absolutely cannot do without them .

  9. Gangey1959

    The wrong side of…….
    Doesn’t that apply to anyone who isn’t “The Guvvm’nt”?
    I too am thankfull that the Mexican junta has taken a tough stance. (I wish that a curfew had come earlier with this latest lockdown)
    I am in a similar situation myself, but after consultations with several doctors I made the decision to get AZ when I could, because contracting covid was a far higher likelihood than complications from the vacine, and the virus would probably kill me, if not leave me far worse off than I am already. I am annoyed to the point of violence that I keep having my second dose delayed, and that I have no access to Phizer, and that since the ever worsening situation in NSW has seen the Nation’s already thin supplies of the good oil sent to the harbour city. I would understand, if it was a cure, but it isn’t, so vaccinating furiously vhile the virus rages unchecked is just madness, and condemning the rest of Australia’s population to further danger and difficulties.
    To everyone at AIMN
    Keep your heads down, your loved ones close, and your beer glasses full.

    Stay Safe Australia.
    Good Luck NSW. You are going to need it.

    The Falcons are back.
    A little bit of joy in a cold dark world.

  10. Yes Minister

    I wonder about people who wonder if the government gives a damn. That was something I figured out in primary school.

  11. Pete Petrass

    The simple fact that scummo organised to have AZ manufactured in Australia, by a company with strong Lieberal ties and Lieberal investment (shares), rather than waste his time on a more effective and expensive vaccine pretty much says it all. Political motivations came first before humane ones.

  12. margcal

    Michael, having had lungs full of blood clots twice already and survived, I had decided that I would not have AZ, I didn’t wait for my GP’s opinion. Also in the wrong age group to get Pfizer.
    But …. I am now double-vaxxed with Pfizer.
    I got it as “left-overs” after a visiting team gave jabs to staff and residents at the nursing home associated with the retirement living apartment that I live in.
    So if they haven’t been ‘done’ already, maybe you could approach any nursing home / aged care facility in your regional town, explain your circumstances and cross your fingers. You do need to be close by as I had quite short notice of the leftovers that went into my arm.
    I did have to arrange the second dose myself but found that remarkably easy, which I think was pretty lucky given the horror stories we keep hearing.
    I’d be happy to pass on info about the clinic I went to for the second jab. You could even ask about a first one there. They were terrific – and I’d never been there in my life before. It would entail travelling to Melbourne though – but permitted for medical care.

    I realise how ludicrous it is to be making these suggestions. Just shows what a shambles the whole vaccine roll-out is.
    And if it needs saying …. No, the government doesn’t give a damn. Or not about anything that doesn’t involve staying in power, and lining the pockets of themselves, their mates and their donor owners.

  13. Michael Taylor

    Hi margcal, it’s good that you managed to get Pfizer. 👍

    In our northern Victorian town the vaccination hub only has enough Pfizer for those needing the second jab. I’ve not option but to go through my GP. A drive to Melbourne (twice) looks like my only other option.

  14. Kathy

    I worry for those over 60, who at the moment, are literally being forced to have AstraZeneca or not get vaccinated yet in the hope that Pfizer or Moderna will become available for them.

  15. Andrew J. Smith

    Does not say much about Australia’s often vaunted special relationship with the US plus ‘shared culture and values’ when our government cannot plan and/or secure supplies of US vaccines e.g. Pfizer, J&J Janssen, Moderna etc.

    Even smaller EU nations independently secured a variety of vaccines, including above, AZ, Sino and Sputnik, for roll outs offering choice earlier in the year versus complacency in Australia relying upon the tyranny of distance, ‘secure borders’ and a relationship between AZ and CSL to produce one vaccine.

    Appears to have been an eye on elections backgrounded by deep seated libertarian instincts and policies precluding more urgent action e.g. funding of vaccines and quarantine facilities.

  16. RosemaryJ36

    A few years ago I had pulmonary embolisms – cause unknown – and in January this year, as I turned 85, I had a mild stroke due to a blood clot on my brain, so I was nervous of the AZ vaccine. I was holding off for Pfizer – till we has a sudden lock down.
    So I had my first AZ jab, with the second due in September.
    I had absolutely no adverse reaction, thank goodness!
    Good luck, Michael and all others who share your predicament!

  17. Dianne

    Might be worth noting that most vaccines (if not all in the West at least) have received only provisional/emergency approval.

    In Thailand, for example, AZ is the vaccine of preferred choice, but not so for so many here in Australia. Guess, we ar so much smarter than our Asian friends?

    It’s early days! The long-term effects (and affects) of all these emergency approved vaccines remain unknown simply because they have only been around for a relatively short-term.

    Almost every day, there’s a new considerations/warnings issued. Today, for example, the one-jab J&J has become a likely recommended two-jab vaccine.

    Science, and perhaps especially medical science, doesn’t give us Truth. (It does deal with humans and their ability to ‘react’).

    While science, without question, is the best available way of knowing,(epistemology) the historical record demonstrates Science is subject to constant revision. (And improvement.)

    So perhaps we all need to grow up and learn to live with uncertainty.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Dianne, “we” as in you, me, and everybody else?

  19. Carol Taylor

    Dianne, I suppose it matters not which vaccine you have as long as your medical professional agrees as to suitability, The entire point is that the Morrison government due to their laziness/inefficiency didn’t secure enough vaccine nor range of vaccine.

  20. Khaled

    Michael
    My heart is with you. My wife is susceptible to blood clots too. She is sticking by her decision to only take Pfizer.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Khaled, brother, I share yours and her frustration.

  22. Dianne

    Still a long, long way to go even for those who had Pfizer.

    … it is a warning to the world. Israel has among the world’s highest levels of vaccination for COVID-19, with 78% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated, the vast majority with the Pfizer vaccine. Yet the country is now logging one of the world’s highest infection rates, with nearly 650 new cases daily per million people.

    “Israel is the model,” agrees Eric Topol, a physician-scientist at Scripps Research. “It’s pure mRNA [messenger RNA] vaccines. It’s out there early. It’s got a very high level population [uptake]. It’s a working experimental lab for us to learn from.” … found that protection from COVID-19 infection during June and July dropped in proportion to the length of time since an individual was vaccinated. People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk for a breakthrough infection than those vaccinated in April

    Nearly 60% of gravely ill patients are fully vaccinated.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta

  23. Michael Taylor

    Dianne, from what I’ve heard elsewhere – in a radio interview – Israel (and soon the USA) are about to start administering Pfizer booster shots which tackle the variants. I’m of the understanding that booster shots will need to be an annual event. I apologise for not being able to provide a link.

    But one thing disturbs me, and from one of your earlier comments I’m of the understanding that it possibly disturbs you too, is how quickly all these vaccines popped up around the same time and how quickly they were ‘discovered’. It usually – according to scientists after the virus made its first appearance – that it takes 18 months to complete all testing before a vaccine can be considered safe. Again, I have no link. I’m going from memory.

    Nonetheless, I’m going to place myself in the hands of my doctor.

  24. Dianne

    The emerging evidence suggests that a booster might be required in as little as every 6 months – much like a repeat script for so many conditions like BP etc.

    It’s not so much that existing vaccines are unsafe (except in statistically rare cases) but that they seem to lose their efficacy rather quickly. As referenced above – Nearly 60% of gravely ill patients in Israel are fully vaccinated. That’s a real worry.

    All (I think) existing vaccines were granted emergency approval – only. Ideally, a longer testing period would be desired. But the need and pressure for something was immense and the researchers did a remarkable job.

    Nevertheless, one must accept that we are probably just at the beginning of a very long journey. Thus there are likely to be some blind alleys.

  25. wam

    The delta has killed enough making the chances of catching delta as the operative factor in getting the jab. In darwin our risk is real so astraz.
    Margcal’s situation reflects the people I know who got pfizer when a batch was opened and there was some left over they got a call and bob’s your uncle.
    leave the contact number for you and carol at the hospitals old ages homes etc

    Michael my reading suggests moderna may be available at your age and blood clot situation.

  26. Jon Chesterson

    THE VACCINATION SCANDAL

    A diabolical situation Michael, that was created by Morrison’s totally incompetent and autocratic Liberal government administration.

    As I have said many times, our current government deliberately created this dilemma for people over 60 by (1) dividing the eligibility up according to age, not medical indications and contraindications related to health risk and pre-existing conditions and vulnerabilities – the science and medical practice, like any other drug approved; (2) Enshrining this not in legislation (for obvious reasons) but as a matter of Liberal policy (an unaccountable, subjective, partisan ideological, regulatory and misguided operational framework; (3) Setting up and funding through privatised contracts, private clinics and vaccine hubs which would be exclusively supplied Pfizer (while AstraZeneca was distributed to GPs, which we know was managed very poorly – the rollout); (4) Establishing the government eligibility app. to direct all people initially in March over 50 (later 60) into the GP administered AstraZeneca clinics and all others under 60 who were eligible and prioritised primarily by age, including initial high priority groups 1a and 1b (aged care and disability workers) directed exclusively to the private Pfizer vaccination centres and hubs. This way they effectively enforced and policed the rollout so people over 60 could not receive Pfizer even if they had serious medical risks which contraindicated the prescription and administration of AstraZeneca vaccine according to the scientific evidence available at the time. The public health system was by-passed, and only supplied Pfizer for exclusive and limited rollout to health care workers in each State – No-one else. People in Aged Care were initially given Pfizer but this was quietly switched to AstraZeneca later and all hushed up, while Aged Care workers who were meant to get it, fell into the government’s vaccine rollout gap (like the rest of us) further endangering everyone in aged care. By doing it this way however, the government controlled who got which vaccine and when depending on supplies, which they also controlled and in their usual grossly incompetent way botched up big time. This was all quite deliberate according to Liberal ideology and our master tourist guide and regulator, Scott Morrison extraordinaire.

    Never has a national vaccination program ever been managed this way. Annual flu vaccine, which gets into the arms of all who need and want it in an orderly and efficient manner – public access through their GP (primary health care networks) and the public health system – namely health care staff access through occupational health in Public Hospitals/LHDs and again public access through State run community health centres. So why was it done in this highly suspicious and clandestine manner (following Liberal privatisation and corporate mates ideology), is the question that should be on everyone’s lips, but it isn’t – it scarcely got a mention in the mainstream media. Again we should be asking why, the public and media have been blind-sided or spoon-fed this way, or was their some kind of ban or threat put on the media – You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, after all most of them are corporate mates or publicly funded by the same hand that feeds them. This is Morrison’s neoliberal game plan to control everything and dismember the public health care system (as well as the independent free press), with nothing to replace it, other than private health care, private hospitals and health insurance, all of which have had no role to play in any of this whatsoever. It also ensured it covered his back with every excuse under the sun with regard to his government’s inability to procure the right vaccines in the first place, delayed supplies and no viable infrastructure and/or utilisation of existing infrastructure in any planned, organised, systemic way.

    Many people over 60, who should have been offered Pfizer on medical grounds up front were denied it and cut loose to confront the virus on their own whenever it got away from us with the equally botched hotel quarantine program, security arrangements, and lack of purpose built national quarantine facilities, 18 months into this pandemic and still we don’t have them either. So people over 60 who are medically compromised are forced into a catch 22, and carry all the risk of the raging Covid variants like Delta or the significantly raised risk of blood clots due to their pre-existing medical conditions, far higher than the rare incidence in the general population, forget about choice, good medical practice, civil rights and scientific reasoning. The lack of scientific studies available to support what we should have known from the start could not be cited to contradict the TGA, ATIGA and Morrison’s government who decided to make this a war of words, lies, assumptions and statistical dogma based on age, putting many people at serious risk of harm either way, and then adding insult to injury by calling older people ‘vaccine hesitant’ and ‘complacent’, deflecting the blame onto they who had already been denied appropriate vaccination based on medical opinion and advice, which is what you consult your GP for in the first place.

    Even our own GPs could not prescribe or give us Pfizer because they were not allowed to or were not supplied it. And now, after a few million shots of Pfizer have gone into the arms of the many who were deemed eligible by age according these Liberal rules; even as GPs were supplied it still they were not permitted to give it to their patients if they were over 60. Now who among us cannot see the injustice, serious jeopardy and risk, and malignant propaganda put out that people over 60 have had to contend with as a result of Morrison’s government and his persistent lies, corruption and mismanagement? Those who know if they get the virus will likely suffer serious illness or lose their life, have not only been made to worry about their dilemma, but maligned and scapegoated by the very government and agencies who have denied them access to informed medical judgment and practice. All that risk and worry!

    And it isn’t over yet… AstraZeneca has gone for a re-branding of its product, no doubt as a result of all the adverse publicity and government mismanagement particularly in Australia. It is now to be re-branded in Australia as Vaxzevria, which raises a number of new questions, no doubt the mainstream media will remain curiously but not surprisingly silent on: (1) The re-brand will be marketing the exact same product; all that changes is the name; (2) Does this change anything regarding its efficacy and risk profile? Not in the slightest; (3) Will it be any safer? Nope; (4) It was announced AZ would be effectively phased out – Was this a lie too when in fact it was a name re-branding that was scheduled later this year all along? and (5) How come this was obfuscated, kept quiet for so long here in Australia? You will note that in Europe the branding of AZ to Vaxzevria was approved 5 months ago in Europe by the EMA. What does this tell us?

    Still it changes nothing, the likes of you and me, Michael and others here over 60 are still being told we are not eligible to get Pfizer or Moderna because we are over 60, even those who for all the right ethical, medical and scientific reasons who should be offered these alternatives are somehow, in some manipulative and political game been excluded, denied access according to the means adopted by Morrison and his government, as summarised above. And the bastard at the head of all this game play got his two Pfizer doses way back in March when all this would have been known, first in the queue despite being over 50 at the time and ineligible under his own imposed Liberal rules! Entitlements of the Liberal political class, go beyond getting the choice or the best for themselves, it allows them to decide who gets it and who doesn’t when that should be a medical decision, and not an ounce of legislation around it to ensure appropriate jurisprudence, regulation, transparency, prescription and administration, social equity or government accountability.

    COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca received a conditional marketing authorisation valid throughout the EU on 29 January 2021. The name of the vaccine was changed to Vaxzevria on 25 March 2021. European Medicines Agency https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/overview/vaxzevria-previously-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-epar-medicine-overview_en.pdf

    References:

    AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine rebranding to ‘Vaxzevria’ ahead of international travel restart – ABC News, updated 12 August 2021 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-06/astrazeneca-vaccine-rebrand-vaxzevria-covid-9/100356980

    TGA approves name change of COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca to Vaxzevria – Nine News, 19 August 2021 https://www.9news.com.au/national/covid19-vaccine-astrazeneca-name-changed-to-vaxzevria-tga-approved/5467320d-ab9e-4bac-ac21-14563edbacd0

  27. Jon Chesterson

    WAKE UP AUSTRALIA

    On a personal note, I too have medical issues I won’t go any further into at this time, nor should any of us have to (publicly) to justify our concerns and actions. Thus like Michael and others here, I could not access Pfizer for the reasons I have explained in my previous comment above. I am a Registered Nurse, having practiced for 40 years so I have a comprehensive understanding of many of the health care issues, risks, practices and ethics surrounding this sad political debacle. So in June I chose to challenge the system that had been deliberately set up to deny us access to vaccination – my duty as a civil libertarian.

    I initially white-lied on the government app, I declared myself under the age of 60 (a momentary lapse of reason, memory or judgment), so I could pass onto the other side. The side of fair play, the side of reason, the world of vaccination and the Pfizer hubs where all were indifferently welcome (Elysium), where one could proceed with their booking. In the interests of maintaining some level of integrity and honesty I provided by correct date of birth, running on the hypothesis the government app not being an intelligent bot, an incompetent AI, but just a government made ‘stupido’ selection filter (rather like the useless COVID-Safe App last year), sausage factory, an animal farm. My hypothesis was correct, I was able to book my appointment and receive Pfizer in June, and my second dose in July.

    Part of this challenge was to see what obstacles would be put in my way, would I for instance be refused due to conflict of qualifying information on my age? Would this be picked up in the app or would I be turned away at the door on arrival. I was asked was I here to receive Pfizer because of my age, which I thought was a strange or inverted question, but I replied, ‘not at all’, I said, ‘age has nothing to do with it nor should it’. This was met with a smile and I was accepted into the fold. I was later asked in another screening question, who was my employer, in reference to disability or aged care? I said I didn’t have one and why was this even relevant if I was in the age group already deemed vulnerable and eligible to receive vaccination. I added indifferently, ‘I am between jobs’, in other words between my last job with NSW Health and my new self selected career as a poet, freelance journalist, volunteer, house husband, grandparent and retirement, who says you have to be paid for your services other than a self-confessed two faced idiotic narrow-minded moribund sociopathic Liberal CEO, bureaucrat, technocrat or politician like Morrison, Dutton or Hunt?

    My responses (not my private thoughts which I kept to myself) must have been deemed satisfactory, I had passed the test and on my second appearance 3 weeks later, there were no curly questions at all, lined up got my second jab, sat in the observation lounge for 15 minutes and left.

    I passed this information on to others who needed a solution to their predicament, however for some it was too late, by the time Pfizer got restricted to second dose allocation only. Like many who proudly announced they had AstraZeneca with no side effects at all, as if they had rebuffed destiny and had a dig at those they deemed either antivaxers or wet behind the ears, I had none either! But I remind those who have not thought this through, most of us folk over 60 are not worried about mere side effects. You know all that gobbledegook in the public health media advertising and messaging, it’s just a jab, nothing to worry about mate, even Morrison grinned without a flinch as he got the jab in March, see how easy it is! Do you think we really care about a little headache for 24 hours, a little muscle ache, a sore arm on a scale of 1/10 compared to unrelenting toothache or arthritis? Vaccine hesitant they call us, but we will walk into enemy territory to get the vaccine where it is denied us and climb any wall they put up to keep us out. We are not ready to die yet, in fact we are more in the land of the living than all those walking dead who fail to see the corruption and incompetence here, and all those who continue to vote Liberal.

    No, we are alive and willing to fight back, because we know how hard it has been to get our freedom after all these years and what our parents and grandparents had to go through to get us here. We are not willing to give this up on the religious fervour and ideology of the likes of Morrison and Dutton. We do not want our grandchildren to be subjected to this social and political torture or abuse, and certainly not where health is concerned.

    I urge everyone out there, never take life or what you are told for granted. Question it, challenge it, especially when you know in your heart and mind the system is wrong, when the people who lead it are corrupt recalcitrant little upstarts hiding behind the coats and tails of privilege, money and immoral ideology. Challenge it and then go tell everyone so that they can do likewise. For it is when we behave like sheep, and throw away our sense of reason, fairness and critical thinking or judgment; when we throw away our empathy and compassion for others in the world regardless of their origin and difference from us, we throw away our freedom and choice to the jackals in society like the present day Liberals and neoconservatives, the political and corporate classes who were taught no manners or sense of decency in their private school education. And look now how they treat us with contempt, abuse and corruption, as if we were dumb from age and void of wisdom.

    Give them a taste of their own medicine.

  28. BB

    Jon Chesterson

    Excellent. Thanks for your informative comments. I enjoyed reading all you have to say, and your strong spirit, a kindred spirit, has lifted my spirits, good stuff. I am nearly 69, on my own, rather isolated, (which is good), and having been advised by my GP due to pre existing medical issues against having the AZ jab, I am waiting patiently for my Pfizer jab. Living where I do, way out rural bush, it’s not possible to line up a visit to a hub of some kind.

    I find it absolutely inexcusable and totally shameful that us older folk, the Senior Citizens of Australia, the backbone of any society, grandparents, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, have and are being treated with such disregard to our well being purely for ideological political expediency, to cover up for the gross incompetence that is the Morrison government. That we have been placed between a rock and a hard place, a catch 22 situation is intolerable.

    That any of us should have to sink to subterfuge to obtain what should be morally and legally available to us without question is a shocking indictment of abuse, bullying and cruel neglect by this L/NP government. Shame on them!

    I certainly in no way condemn your actions in the way you went about obtaining your Pfizer jabs, and say to you, I applaud you, bloody well done mate! However being a total rebel and standing up against all forms of tyranny, I utterly refuse to be intimidated or shamed into having an AZ jab and to anyone and all that attempt to to so, to tell me I am an old fart and should be grateful, I hold up two fingers, the sign of victory faces me, the sign of fuck off faces the world.

    Like you I have been telling folks to WAKE UP to the insidious skulduggery, bullshit, deceit and underhand immoral tactics that are the Modus Operandi of Liberal party. To place them LAST on their ballot paper next Federal elections.

    And I’ll candidly add for all those folks who seem oblivious to common sense, still being under some kind of fanciful delusions, that to get rid of the L/NP another party has to win the elections… Ok folks got that, it’s simple ABC… Simple maths!

    So stop denigrating Labor, they are the only possible alternative at this time. That’s reality! So wake the fuck up!

  29. John Lord

    An excellent response to your piece Michael but none that resolve your issue. Might I suggest you offer to change your vote. That may work.

  30. DrakeN

    @ Dianne: “Science is subject to constant revision.”
    That is a basic premise of the scientific method.
    It always was and always will be – it is the commentariat and other vested interests which pander to our demands for certainty.

  31. DrakeN

    Michael, I share your disgust at the Australian Federal Government and its acolytes but I have found it best to constantly remind myself of the old adage: “It’s mind over matter – they don’t mind that you don’t matter”.
    You, I or anyone else is only worthy of consideration if we are percieved to have some kind of value in their pursuit of their avaricious goals or if we somehow represent a risk to their achievement: Otherwise, we “Quiet Australians” are merely cyphers in block statistic.
    Do keep irritating them, though – continual annoyance can often result in recognition of your actual existence.

  32. BB

    Aye GL. Typical of Morrison, he’s really just a pathetic coward, trying to cover up that fact by being a typical bully with threats. And here is more bullshit, the Federal court attempting to whitewash and limit a full investigation into the Sports Rorts scam. The Federal court doesn’t give a damn for citizens or taxpayers, obviously it works only for the L/NP government of Australia. “While the misuse of taxpayer funds in the sports rorts grant program at the last election has been highlighted by both a report from the auditor general and within the parliament, those responsible have not been held to account.” What a surprise! https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/20/sports-rorts-federal-court-limits-access-to-grant-documents-related-to-bridget-mckenzies-input

  33. Jon Chesterson

    THE HIDDEN NARRATIVE

    Anyone in any doubt why doctors should have the final say and choice in which vaccine some of their patients should have based on their medical condition/s and health care risks; and not politicians or one size fits all and enforced based on factors as spurious and vague as age, should take a look at the different vaccine profiles. Here’s one easy reader – https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison

    If you gave someone who has a serious allergy or anaphylactic reaction to penicillin, a penicillin based antibiotic can kill them. Conversely, it is safe for use by the majority. Fortunately, we have other types of antibiotics which can be prescribed which are safer and just as effective for such contingencies. Furthermore, some have a broader spectrum of action against a range of bacterial infections and others are more sensitive and potent against particular microbes which may be more resistant or dangerous. Each antibiotic has a different side effect profile and contraindications based on medical risks and sensitivities – In much the same way as different vaccines may be selected and used with different levels of effectiveness against Covid variants, and safety.

    Clearly we have been plagued with specific vaccine availability, a government blunder which Morrison has gone to extraordinary lengths to cover up, suppress and impose a different narrative or system of lies. But still, you don’t give everyone the same antibiotic or enforce that choice because they are under or over 60, and you certainly don’t give an antibiotic that someone may be allergic to or which is less effective at doing its job, especially with a serious microbe that can cause serious harm or death if untreated. You don’t tell them you can’t have the most appropriate antibiotic available because they are 60 or nothing at all and leave them untreated or unprotected. This would be considered malpractice. So why would anyone think this is acceptable with Covid vaccination? But this is exactly what Morrison and our federal government have done, and so far got away with.

    Now Covid Delta variant is out, this illegitimate government action is responsible for a growing number of deaths, not just by blood clotting from AZ but because there are many who were never given a choice or access to vaccination and ended up fighting Delta unprotected, unvaccinated, supposedly their choice because they were vaccine ‘hesitant’. I have never heard of someone allergic to penicillin being accused of being antibiotic ‘hesitant’! What astonishes me is that no-one anywhere in the mainstream media has talked about this and GPs, while advising selective patients at risk all over the country in the privacy of their own surgeries not to have AstraZeneca or gamble on it, have never raised the alarm. They took an oath, so why haven’t they raised this imposition on medical practice?

    It is not up to politicians to make these decisions. It is not up to Morrison as close to God as he might think he is, but they have done it anyway and this is shocking and unprecedented.

  34. King1394

    How lucky many people are to have their own GP, a person who has known them and their medical history, and who can give informed advice. Many poorer people rely on a medical centre that bulk bills, and where doctors are seen once and never again.

  35. BB

    King1394,
    Do I detect a note of maybe sarcasm, or maybe an envious note?
    FYI.
    I have to make an appointment to see my preferred GP, takes two to three weeks waiting time, I can’t just lob in unannounced and expect to see him, I would only get to see whomever is available, and just maybe, if really lucky, a cancellation, see him.
    I live in a rural area where our medical centres encourage us to see a particular doc so yes indeed the doc becomes familiar with our history, which makes for better doctoring, so is very sensible. I presume the same goes on at other medical centres.
    I had a doc I had been seeing for 25 yrs, but he retired 3 yrs ago, so since then I have seen 3 different docs, but now have found another whom I will keep seeing, he’s in his 30’s and I am in my late 60’s. So with luck I’ll see him out 1st, lol.
    I’m not rich or wealthy, on a ordinary aged pension. I have no big super, some small savings, and have to watch my budget.
    So it’s not lucky at all, it’s careful forward planning that enables me to have my own GP.
    My medical centre also bulk bills, the only time I am out of pocket is if I have to see a specialist and pay a gap fee.
    I would suggest that most people in rural areas are like me.
    I can’t speak for people in large metropolitan city areas.
    And I can’t speak for rich people who no doubt yes probably not only have their own private GP, but who also house visits.

  36. Leo Braun

    “The public health system was by-passed, and only supplied Pfizer for exclusive and limited rollout”, revealed Jon Chesterson. Meanwhile one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine were on the way to Australia, after the Polish govt answered the Morrison govt’s international pleas for help.

    Poland has recently offered to share vaccines mainly with low and middle-income countries, including its eastern neighbours, Balkan countries etc. The decision to also add Australia to the list was taken against the back drop of the current outbreak of Delta variant in the country, following the talks between both countries’ officials, including the prime ministers and foreign ministers”, the spokesperson said in a statement.

    Last month, Polish media reported its Govt Strategic Reserves Agency was looking to on-sell at least 4 million doses of its stock, having ordered 100m doses from Pfizer. Its media reported Australia was among those nations which had shown interest … https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/15/australia-secures-1m-pfizer-doses-from-poland-with-half-earmarked-for-sydney-covid-hotspots

  37. george theodoridis

    These are the brains(?) that have caused the egregiously criminal robodebt disaster.

    Obscenely paid automatons. Not a drop of blood in their veins, not s hint of intelligence.

    Thank you Jon Chesterson for the detailed clarification.

    How did we ever get so abjectly bad?

  38. BB

    “Sometimes you wonder if the government gives a damn”

    Yes they do Michael, when pigs fly!

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