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The trouble with AstraZeneca… Bugger the quality of the research, choice or supply

The trouble with AstraZeneca goes beyond blood clotting. Lack of trial data to show efficacy or safety in older people, blood clotting in women under 55, poor operational controls in research resulting in the controversy of a half dose being more effective when all along the independent variable may have been the interval between doses – 3 months not one month. Oops doesn’t inspire confidence in their research if they can’t get that right!

And it doesn’t stop there. Supply issues, broken contracts, vested national interests, protectionism, political interference and even questions surrounding the reliability and accuracy of information AstraZeneca is providing about its ‘baby’ – evidence that information and data may be being withheld.

The US has not yet completed its report on its phase 3 mass trial and rumours circulating AstraZeneca haven’t been providing up to date information. Efficacy is 30% lower than its rivals at 62%. So what are we not seeing here? What is AstraZeneca hiding? Why are so many countries and their regulators deliberating while host countries like UK and Australia (well in the minority), who have most to gain out of all this play politics with orders and supply, and ultimately people’s lives-willing to obfuscate their national public health messaging, information and choice?

One thing’s for sure, it is a dangerous game they are playing, when this all should be well above politics – but it ain’t is it, Messrs Morrison and Johnson? It is one step away from being weaponised and another to hide the truth from your general public.

We are being told it is safe, but clearly not for some, and for others there is an absence of data to support it. But the spin doctors are already out there ramming the public health safety slogan down our throats. And here in Australia, if you are eligible on medical grounds or concerns for an alternative, there is only one – Pfizer-BioNTech, and already it is not available to the general public, but most don’t know this.

The US also has Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, all three of which are more effective, arguably safer, and none of which so far, have thrown up any of the troubles of AstraZeneca.

So in Australia, the general population have just one vaccine which has been badly managed. Many unanswered questions. If you have no medical conditions or family history, having the vaccine evidently poses less risk than not taking it, little doubt about that. But until the US study is reported with its larger and broader sample, with latest reliable data and independent analysis, which we are told is soon, the truth about its effectiveness and safety in the elderly is yet to be properly established. But if you have a blood clotting disorder, serious heart condition, receiving medication and family history, you may be at higher risk than either AstraZeneca or the government is telling; and the government has failed to provide an alternative. That is probably what is compromising their willingness to tell the truth, so they are resorting to dumbed down public health messaging and guesswork.

So, what can we learn from all this?

  1. The research needs to be conducted on a reliable and independent footing, sound methodologies, rigorous, no compromises.
  2. The public need to be told the truth from the start, no guesswork for the sake of politicians sleeping in their beds at night. Do not mislead the public. The biggest threat to public confidence and consenting to vaccination is being lied to or misled, unsupported claims, and of course overzealous politicians who don’t know what they are talking about, covering up for their incompetence.
  3. Cautions, contraindications, risks must be labelled on the product and all product information; and for reasons we won’t go into that has been overlooked in the packaging and promotion of AstraZeneca; shortcuts, omissions and excuses unacceptable.
  4. There needs to be a choice, an alternative if there are medical contraindications and risks. That choice must be based on medical advice, case by case, not a bureaucrat or politician.
  5. Our government needs to address the order and supply problem – One for all is not acceptable.
  6. Don’t even think about travel passes and restrictions until you get this stuff right.

We can do better than this unless you like the sound of our master’s voice (I don’t and I don’t like his attitude), frankly he, like Boris doesn’t know what he is talking about either, other than pulling the wool over our eyes every day, pretty much on everything. But I would have expected better from the Chief Medical Officer in Australia than his one size fits all, dumbing down, and bugger the quality of the research, choice or supply.


Missteps plague AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Rollout, The Washington Post, 22 March 2021.

Reputation of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine marred by missteps, Modern Healthcare, 23 March 2021.

WHO says AstraZeneca vaccinations should continue as some nations halt rollout amid concerns, The Washington Post, 13 March 2021.

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  1. Graham

    The efficacy figures for the various vaccines are not a measure of how good they are relative to each other. This will tell you why.

    As for side effects consider some figures from the US. When you are treating very, very large populations, you’re going to see the usual run of mortality and morbidity that you see across large samples.

    If you take 10 million people and just wave your hand back and forth over their upper arms, over the next two months you would expect to see about 4,000 heart attacks. About 4,000 strokes. Over 9,000 new diagnoses of cancer. And about 14,000 of that ten million will die, out of usual all-causes mortality. No one would notice. That’s how many people die and get sick anyway.

    But if you took those ten million people and gave them a new vaccine instead, there’s a real danger that those heart attacks, cancer diagnoses, and deaths will be attributed to the vaccine.

    If you reach a large enough population, you are literally going to have cases where someone gets the vaccine and drops dead the next day (just as they would have if they didn’t get the vaccine). It could prove difficult to convince that person’s friends and relatives of that lack of connection, though.

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc

    As for the testing not being rigorous enough, when one of the participants in the Pfizer or Moderna trials was struck by lightning it was reported that the FDA took some time to conclude that this was not a side effect of the vaccine.

    Lastly, the vaccines are not intended to prevent you from getting covid-19: they are intended to prevent you from dying or being hospitalized and even if they have known side effects in some people (37 blood clotting cases out of 10 million vaccinations ) that will be considered an acceptable level of risk by every health authority.

  2. Tina Clausen

    I am extremely surprised and disappointed to see this badly disguised anti-vaxer ‘article’ here. 😡

  3. David Tyler

    “We can do better than this unless you like the sound of our master’s voice (I don’t and I don’t like his attitude), frankly he, like Boris doesn’t know what he is talking about either, other than pulling the wool over our eyes every day, pretty much on everything. But I would have expected better from the Chief Medical Officer in Australia than his one size fits all, dumbing down, and bugger the quality of the research, choice or supply.”

    Well said. Then there’s the small matter of how keen this government seems to be to keep CSL shares humming along. Dave Sharma allegedly bought up CSL just as the government was making its decision – a decision as you imply which is a million miles away from being based on public health criteria – and which seem suspiciously close to fostering investment opportunities in the donor class.

  4. Kronomex

    “I am extremely surprised and disappointed to see this badly disguised anti-vaxer ‘article’ here. 😡”

    Jon’s piece is more about the issues, some of which could be potentially life threatening, surrounding the AZ vaccine. So “anti” it most certainly is not. You have twisted his words Tina.

  5. Harry Lime

    The Astrazeneca may well be reasonably OK,but another of the problems behind it’s published shortcomings is we are expected to believe a government that lies to us every day.And why have the said liars received the pfizer vaccine?Im eligible to get the jab and have been invited by my local practice to book in.I’ll be waiting for more independent information before I decide.Morrison is a shocking liar and no one in their right mind believes anything he says.They have fucked everything they have touched.How good is Australia?

  6. paul walter

    Putting it all together, I’d still risk the Astra jab before Coronavirus. They had to rush because they did not know at the time how severe the epidemic would be.

    As for the government, they are laughing stocks on vaccine roll out as they are on so many other things.

  7. David Stakes

    Which gov members have invested heavily in this. Follow the money someone.

  8. Michael Taylor

    A tweet of mine:

    “The great con.

    Is it true, @GregHuntMP that rural people who qualify for the Pfizer vaccine CANNOT GET IT? That they’re not even ‘allowed’ to drive to the city for the jab?

    This would ‘disqualify’ 80+% of the Aboriginal people in SA who qualify for it.”

  9. Michael Taylor

    It just seemed a little bit ludicrous.

    According the the federal government’s health website there are 16 Pfizer vaccination points in Australia.

    In SA there are two. Both in Adelaide.

    Aboriginal people over the age of 55 are considered to be in the most vulnerable group, and the good majority of these live in the mid and far north of the state. But, says my doctor, they won’t receive Pfizer because they live in a rural postcode.

    Transferring it to my situation – also in the most vulnerable group but residing in rural Vic – I too live in the wrong postcode. Even if I (or others) drove down to Melbourne (or Geelong) we will not be given Pfizer.

    My doctor can’t even get Pfizer. The only doctors in rural areas being afforded Pfizer are those working in Emergency departments of hospitals.

    It begs the question: If AstraZeneca is so good, then why isn’t everyone getting it?

  10. Kaye Lee

    I don’t really have any concerns about the vaccine. I know how hard it is to get things approved here. But I DO have a concern about Dave Sharma.

    “On 17 March, Sharma’s register of interests shows a purchase of Qantas shares, which were then trading at $2.86. The next day happened to be the day Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced a $715 million relief package for the aviation industry.

    Qantas shares had risen to $5.38 (at the time of publication).

    On 30 June, Sharma bet on big pharma, purchasing CSL shares, which were then trading at $287.

    A couple of months later, on 7 September, the Prime Minister announced a $1.7 billion supply and production agreement between the Australian Government and pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and CSL. And then in November, the PM revealed a vaccine manufacturing plant at a cost of $800 million would be established in Melbourne.

    At the time of publication, the share price for CSL had risen to $304.91.”,14604

  11. Michael Taylor

    Nothing crooked about that, Kaye. 😜

    I have concerns about the clotting found in a number of EU countries when trialling AZ. One of the nasty little things that lupus has left me prone to is clotting.

  12. Jon Chesterson

    Tina – As Kronomex has pointed out this article is not ‘anti-vaxer’ at all. Conversely if anything, it is arguing for more Covid vaccines, public choice and availability in Australia. It is pointing out we have been short changed and duped into having only one. As Michael and this article points out, Pfizer does not appear to be available to the public, even if you present with medical concerns that might contraindicate AstraZeneca’s side effect and contraindication profile based on specific medical conditions and treatments. In medicine there is usually a significant choice of treatment and medication options to get round these common constraints. There are around a dozen different Covid vaccines around the world, and three have been approved for use and available in the USA. There is no sign in Australia that anything else will be available to the general population other than AstraZeneca, which is fine if you have a clear medical record and family history. The article goes on to suggest for the majority (perhaps) therefore this may not be a problem. It does NOT say they should not have it or refuse it, which is what an ‘anti-vaxer’ would say. But even the larger population here are being used, coerced and exploited.

    It is however pointing out, there are a lot of problems relying on just one (all our eggs being in one basket) thanks to Morrison and Hunt. It is pointing out there are a lot of anomalies with the one they have chosen to roll out exclusively in this country and that Australians deserve better, the government can do better. It is arguing there are attitudes and measures which need to be observed to secure public trust, which is where ultimately success will lie.

    It is arguing on and for medical ethics and social justice grounds, standards of research, quality of clinical and public health decision making. It is pointing out you do not put at risk more vulnerable groups in the population on an over simplification, dumbed down interpretation of the human bioethic of ‘the greater good’ or utilitarianism – instead, one needs to mediate those risks, not ignore them under the falsified claims of ‘safe for all’, when clearly it is not. There are numerous people out there who are being ignored and coerced into taking that risk on behalf of the common good. Consider how many countries have raised the alarm and temporarily suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine, no other! That is not the act of an anti-vaccine campaign – That is protecting your public from potential harm.

    This whole issue has been politicised by the Liberals and the it raises serious questions for consideration. As a health care professional myself, that alarms me and how pharmaceutical companies and government behave, I have directly experienced this compromise, especially when they get together for what? For profit or mutual benefit. I strongly believe the general public deserve a much better informed debate on public health care, should be listened to, have more choice and autonomy over their health and welfare, rather than be exploited as pawns by our government for their own ends, treated like children in such a shameful patriarchal manner.

    As a social justice advocate yourself, I am surprised you missed this.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think they established a link Michael. There were clotting cases but I think inquiries showed it was no more than expected in the general population, vaccine or not.

    Billions of women have taken the Pill where there is a known risk but it is very small.

    I understand your hesitation due to your co-morbidities. The reason we must encourage as many as we can to get vaccinated is to protect those few who can’t.

    This is a huge trial right now. We will have more data very soon.

  14. Jon Chesterson

    I agree Kaye, we should be concerned about what you and David have raised. This is all part of that dirty cloud, where politicians, the donor class and corporations are capitalising, possibly even on insider trading and now protecting their investments by restricting fair trade, competition and public choice. Health has become a political economic football.

    The public good and public health are compromised – and what; we should be grateful that we will have the one vaccine! Looks like we are really slow out of the blocks here, with only one viable inadequate option, even allowing for the fact we have less urgency in this country than others. But very soon we will be at a grave disadvantage and poorly protected internationally, because we allowed politics to interfere with better judgment on the health of our nation, because we were complacent, because we did not procure the choices we could have made or had.

    My mother died of a rare blood disorder when I was 13 yrs, I too have my own medical condition to consider, four daughters and granddaughters, there are potential hereditary factors to consider. As an Australian citizen, parent, health care professional and public health advocate, I am concerned at what is going on here and there are many other Australians with legitimate concerns who should not be ignored and dismissed, and do as they are told by untrustworthy politicians, as Michael himself has indicated; nor should ‘they’ be accused of being ‘anti-vaxers’.

    On the matter of blood clotting, the erroneous safety message is running entirely off the statistical conclusion that no more have died of clots than might be expected in the general population not receiving the vaccine. The trials (sample/recipients) don’t even include or control for these conditions – And that is not rigour, it is barely relevant, a convenience conclusion, erroneous, overreach, teetering on a lie to make such safety claims for all – At best it is utilitarian, but I beg to consider it serves vested interests, not without evidence, motive or means..

    There are too many variables to have been chased down here in the time given so far, to rule on this particular vaccine’s safety on such specific grounds eg. what kind of blood disorder, nature of interaction, is it the condition or the drug treatment/s eg. medication interactions of which there are potentially many including anti-clotting, anti-hypertensive and contraceptive medications. And yes there might be implications for other vaccines, but not that the evidence to date has indicated.

    It is sloppy dangerous speculation!

    For the majority there may be little to worry about, it isn’t not for them I present this particular stream of medical argument, but they should still consider the other issues raised.

    I make no apology for the tone, it is quite deliberate to shake us out of this do nothing attitude when we are being screwed over, and this is a government that has been doing this to us for years and yet still we elect them and let them do this to us and I am sick of it! But still, I argue on the basis of evidence, reason, advocacy and ethics, not mere passion, opinion or even devil’s advocate.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, my doctor is going to insist I have the AZ. She, after all, is more concerned with my health than she is over a lousy government. If AZ is all that’s available to me then I have little choice. If I had a choice of catching COVID-19 or having worrying side effects from AZ then it’s no choice.

    But… I will still raise my concerns.

    If CNN are to believed (and I do trust them as a reliable news source) South Africa have halted AZ as it has been found to be ineffective against the SA variant of COVID-19. It’ll be ground zero here if the SA variant reaches our shores and most of us didn’t get the other vaccines. I haven’t yet validated the CNN story, so I hope I’m wrong.

    I was relieved to learn that three days ago the USA approved AZ. But it raised an eyebrow the very next day when they changed their mind because the manufacturer of AZ had provided them with outdated data.

  16. paul walter

    Nothing makes me sick re cold blooded Gordon Gecko types in the government.

    But, Kaye Lee, many of us love you. Where would we be without people like you?

  17. Jon Chesterson

    I think Dr Normal Swan of the ABC is a reliable source for public health advice on this issue, and he has concerns unlike our chief medical officers who want to sweep this debate under the carpet. He is willing to discuss them with us. He is the go to person here. Alas, he is with the ABC and our government don’t like them either. I wonder why. At the individual level, anyone who has concerns should talk to their GP, I will be and I shall consider that advice very carefully.

  18. Michael Taylor

    It has been suggested to me that I’m inappropriately promoting a fear campaign, which is the last thing we need on the eve of our vaccinations. They could be right.

    But if there’s one thing I hate more than a fear campaign, it’s being fed bullshit by our government.

  19. paul walter

    Blow lost last post.

    Thing is, things have beyond the sexual offences by the elite to the issue of accountability and its refusal on all issues until the government has things secured beyond breach for the tiny elite wanting to carpet bag the country at the expense of the masses, male and female.

    Refusal of accountability on ANY issue is POLICY!

    Think of all the other offences they would have to come clean on if they were forced to come clean on the likes of Porter and the preppie battalions.

    People like Julia Baird continue to narrow focus (for consent purposes later?) and reduce the situation to, exclusively, gender oppression, whilst denying class or situational oppression of which gender oppression is but one component. Gender oppression is an example of class oppression and an almighty feudalist rip off and parallel control/oppression tactic across the neo lib world.

    Am not saying sexual subjugation is not a problem, any thing but, but trying to put it into the context of a wider cultural commodification that tries to keep civilisation in the Dark Ages.

    Running gender quotas wont change a thing if parties only replace male fascists with female fascists.

    The situation as we know it of which things like dumbing down and surveillance, global warming and resources and food depletion and labor Road to Serfdom “reforms” demands a far more serious change and in Australia, this writer fears that things are beyond repair, unless the current set of scandals can rid the country of not just the current government but sufficiently to curb the current oligarchy and also curb foreign interference from places like Britain and the USA, not just China.

    A point. MSM is forced to report almost exclusively on sex scandals because it has been levered away from issues like enviro damage and defence procurements through Dutton’s Nacht Und Nebel surveillance laws

    Last week it was claimed the idiot submarines contract had been terminated, somewhere in the bottom corner of page 22, then someone said later the sophisticated French were rolling us back into accepting the purchase.

    Now can any one identify for me any further reports on an equally important issue like this?

  20. New England Cocky

    Here in Armidale NSW my major medical centre, advises that they will receive about fifteen (15) shots in mid-April2021 and please do not telephone for an appointment because their patients will be advised when they will get the jab.

  21. Kerri

    Thank you for this insight! I am a 1b and so are currently eligible. I have delayed mostly due to a lack of available options to get a jab but partly due to the various inconsistencies with the AZ vaccine! My first instinct was to support the AZ as it hails from Europe not America. I also trust the local manufacturer CSL, however given I have “significant lung disease” according to my respiratory specialist and am currently undergoing chemo therapy to deal with my hyperactive immune system I take your advice quite seriously. Victoria has been declared “virus-free” so I don’t feel any real and present danger. My immune system is currently depressed, or at least that’s what we are all aiming for and I have a retired husband who has done all of our shopping for most of the last 14 months anyway. (I put myself in lockdown before it became law given my fragile lungs) Reports from the US on efficacy of the AZ vaccine and controversies over the means of testing efficacy raise serious doubts. Especially for me. You must do what you can do because that’s all you can do. If I have to wait a bit longer then so be it.
    I am, personally less concerned about blood clots thatn I am about efficacy.

  22. paul walter

    You see, no sooner do you turn your back and yet another manifestation of refusal of accountability as policy through its threat to business as usual, this time involving a $177 million bush fires rort in NSW now being raised on 7.30.

    Are they ever accountable, Penny Wong just touches on this, fresh from Senate Estimates. If a way were found to make them accountable on sexual assault and harassment, they fear the route could be open to force accountability on a vast array of other scandalous consequences of the unaccountable Rafferty’s Rules government.

  23. Jon Chesterson

    It’s a sham and indeed a travesty Michael, that you have been accused of promoting a fear campaign. This is why people are afraid to speak out, because they get attacked by fools, trolls, those with vested interests, and those who are not willing to challenge the corruption and status quo of do nothing, that could rock this unseaworthy boat of ours, and so it remains unseaworthy. Too many who conform are simply content to put their heads in the sand and hope the problem will go away. But it just gets worse precisely because of that. You cannot debate in this country no matter how sensible, fair and reasoned on legitimate grounds and concerns without being attacked personally, which flies in the face of being forthright, practical and honest for which Australians were once considered strong. What can I say other than isn’t this why we are in this mess in the first place. It’s like Christian Porter attacking and suing the ABC for public interest journalism and laying out evidence, facts and truth as they in good faith understand it, to defend the allegation made against him by someone who is dead and can no longer speak for herself. Sublime and ridiculous.

  24. Jon Chesterson

    Kerri, you have such a lot on your plate and this is such a complex issue when you weigh up all the issues against your specific individual health care needs and concerns. The risk and impact of Covid-19 against the side effects of treatment of one vaccine is no easy task to wade through, which is precisely why we cannot allow politicians to tell us what to do or simply turn up like most people for our vaccination without any worries and be treated exactly the same way (we are individuals and the field out there is not equal or the same for all). Precisely why we need more options that just one vaccine, other than declining (which isn’t, as Michael points out a valid or viable choice in the longer term, nor in the shorter term for others to impose).

    Of course it is absolutely vital you consult your GP, which I am sure you have and/or will, to decide your best strategy and timing, which will naturally as you sensibly say, is a little easier while community transmission remains practically zero and I do hope it stays that way, as more or better options emerge with time. Good public health behaviour is as much about what others do that keeps the risk and exposure low for vulnerable people like yourself in your community, whose options and risks are far more limiting and stressful, and yes efficacy of the vaccine is a critically important consideration. Which is why it is important those who are minimal low risk, no medical issues go and get vaccinated, protecting not just themselves but others who might not have such a clear safe path or choice. I do not advocate an anti-vaccination stance, as I am sure you must be aware.

    I hope more vaccines become available and people don’t become complacent and forget the harm minimisation standards that have proved so successful thus far in Australia. Dr Norman Swan advocates that our combined agenda is to render the Covid-19 no more dangerous than a common cold. With sensible individual and public health decision making, this is achievable, that is what we all need to strive for, but it will be a challenge while variants emerge complicate that task.

    No easy task for you, I am sure you have considered declining a vaccination may not be your best option; but it would be better surely if there were more options available and more known about the merits and risks of each, to exercise a more informed and potentially effective decision in time. I am mindful how careful you have to be to keep yourself safe while also relying on what others do, I do not envy this. I am also mindful of the courage you have and determination to seek the best path forward, and that is something we all have to admire and respect.

  25. wam

    Pfizer is for the important people of society as outline by the pollies last year when it was 95% and about $4 Astra was 56% but free and moderna??? was about $20.(it must have been unavailable or the pollies would have got that under the dearer is better rule of the conservative) Ps Thanks lord in life I am not as I write but shy your COVID news moved me in Adelaide to phone the clinic in Darwin I was sent on the net roundabout but didn’t go and spoke to a receptionist who tried to send me on the web but I insisted and gave my name and DOB and she promised to tell the nurse, . Got a call Wednesday afternoon with an appointment 0915 Monday for the astra injection. Thanks again for the little push. The Pfizer I was supposed to get has been replaced by Astra so I missed out but cynically there was not much chance of a shitkicker getting Pfizer. Pps dear Kerri, hope blood thinner will take care of any clot??

  26. Michael Taylor

    Pfizer is for the important people of society…

    Yeah, like Scotty. Not in any priority group but had himself near the front of the queue.

  27. DrakeN


    It’s the clots who elected the present government in to power which worry me more.

  28. leefe

    You’d think the misgovernment would at least have the option for those who are prepared to do so, to pay themselves for the Pfizer or Moderna shots. As someone with a slightly screwy immune system I want a vaccine, but the growing possibility of issues with AstraZeneca has me concerned.

    Being in Tassie, which so far has been the least affected state, I don’t mind waiting, but we can’t wait forever.

  29. Jon Chesterson


    ‘Lorne Community Hospital in rural/regional Victoria provides acute care (emergency medical), urgent care services, residential aged care, and a range of ambulatory and community health services’ and should have received Pfizer/AstraZeneca vaccines for front line health care staff and aged care residents over a month ago at the commencement of phase 1A.

    This we presumed would have been the Pfizer vaccine, but more than likely not.

    A member of the public who turned up at the commencement of phase 1b in mid March, eligible for vaccination has been told no-one at the hospital had received the vaccine including front line health care staff and aged care residents eligible in phase 1a.

    ‘The first innoculation on February 21, started Phase 1a of the rollout. This phase was made up of people either at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or at a higher risk of becoming very sick if they do: so, quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers, and staff and residents at aged care and disability facilities. There are about 678,000 people in Phase 1a across Australia. By March 14, there had been 164,437 vaccinations’ (SMH, 17 March 2021).

    Less than a quarter of this first phase highest risk group in Austraia had received the vaccine at around the 3-4 week mark.

    ‘Already underway is Phase 1b: all other healthcare workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55 and other Australians over 70 who are not in aged care, younger people with an underlying medical condition and emergency and some critical workers. That adds up to about another 6.1 million people.’ (ibid)

    This would be the universal AstraZeneca vaccine – But little sign of it up and down the country to date.

    Meanwhile half the population in the UK have received their first vaccine (almost three times the population of Australia) – And of course we understand the far greater urgency in the UK, but at least when they said they had started, it was happening at an impressive rate – NHS, you can’t underestimate a good public health system.

    Most of us don’t mind waiting, but yes that’s right we can’t wait forever.

    Morisson’s government Covid-19 announcements – All bravado, smoke and mirrors – Big bag of wind.

    Have faith! That’s all we have really been offered.

  30. Lambchop Simnel

    Couldn’t run the Friday chook raffle at the local…

  31. Lambchop Simnel

    Yes Jon Chesterton, you have done us a favour drawing attention to the curiously incompetent performance of the government and reasons why something as elementary has been so buggered up.

    Given the number of US influenced medievalists in the government, a person supposes that they preferred to sit back and hope that any/everyone vaccinated elsewhere had dropped dead as a sign from the Almighty of His wrath at folk for not believing that the Earth is flat.

  32. Jon Chesterson

    ‘The Eagle has landed’ Greg Hunt, 15 February. Did he say where?

  33. Lambchop Simnel

    More likely shitted, methinks.

  34. Brozza

    Pfizer for the privileged, AstraZeneca for the plebs?

  35. Jon Chesterson


    ‘It followed a European Medicines Agency review into clotting cases that found the vaccine was not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots and that the benefits outweighed risks of side-effects’.

    It doesn’t matter how many articles and advice that get put out by government authorities and regulatory bodies, they all speak in general statistical terms, ‘no greater risk than in the general population’ referring to the general population. Such advice avoids any mention that for some with rare medical conditions, blood disorders, heart disease, taking heart medications or family medical history whether age, gender or demographic specific or not, there may be a very real risk – for them the risk may well be considerably higher, ‘they’ are not the general healthy non-indicative general population. This is a fundamental problem. No-one is suggesting stop the AstraZeneca vaccine, what ‘we’ are saying is it may not be suitable for some and ‘we’ or some need an alternative till more is known and understood. What is so damned hard of hearing or understanding in that instead of being accused of being an antivaxer or not listening to the ‘best available evidence’? So far this is the best available evidence or you have to conclude ‘best’ is a touch premature when it hasn’t actually been researched.

    Meanwhile Germany and Canada have now suspended rollout for people under 60 and 55 respectively, adding to the very significant number of countries that have indicated concerns and temporarily suspended rollout at some point. Even the WHO are putting out these non-specific statements and ignoring the research findings to appease the general population. The truth, the caution will not hurt if it is done effectively and honestly. In Germany the medical regulator announced receiving 31 reports of blood clots in recipients of the vaccine. Nine of those people died. Hello people – Tell their families it is safe! Tell those indicated go run the gauntlet, while the vast majority need not worry.

    And now we have our first Australian case. Yes, the incidence of this is low out of the general population and no causal link has yet been established, but if you are in that curious, vulnerable and unfortunate group of possibilities, are you going to rush out and have the AstraZeneca vaccine because the government refused to listen or provide you with another option?

    Is this what you get when you put complete idiot and ignorant politicians in charge of public health and vaccinations procurement and rollout? Meanwhile Nurses in NSW have as good as been told to keep their mouths shut for threat of disciplinary action in an email this week from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW for expressing a ‘person opinion’ in public – what about ‘professional opinion’, ‘in the public interest’ or ‘family’ where it may be indicated. I wonder if the medical profession, GPs, clinical psychologists, pharmacists and psychologists received the equivalent of that email from their regulatory bodies or is thus just another swipe at women and nursing while the men in charge carry on as usual?

    Australia investigating whether blood clots in Victorian man linked to AstraZeneca vaccine, The Guardian, 2 April 2021 –

  36. Sue Wotton

    Thanks for your comments, Jon. I had been having the same thoughts, myself and am contemplating cancelling my appointment for dose 1. I do have some of those issues you refer to, I’m not in the group which has been getting clots but I believe the risk is possibly greater than I should be taking. Oh for a Pfizer jab, but nope, not for me, not being in the nursing workforce any longer. So… continue on, sanitising, washing, social distancing and wearing mask as needed. Mostly, being a hermit.

  37. Jon Chesterson

    Hi Sue et al

    I believe I may be in the same position as yourself, having recently been forced into retirement by my last employer who had no respect for honesty, integrity, professionalism, life time commitment and caring for the people you care for and staff. Been a nurse all my life for 44 years on leaving school at 18. So now, no access to Pfizer like my colleagues or ay other choice, only AstraZeneca. My Mother died from a rare blood disorder never diagnosed when I was 13yrs. Due to the stress I was put under at work several years ago, I ended up with acute coronary syndrome and now on heart medication for life. I think AZ is a real risk, but I am just as concerned about my daughters who are in their 30s and others who are in a similar or more seriously at risk in our propulation.Those with a history need to be more careful but The Australian government and health care system gives us no choice – All the eggs have been put in one basket. Morrison had Pfizer, he wasn’t even in Group 1a or 1b but had his vaccine at commencement of phase 1a; he should have waited his turn for the AZ vaccine, what makes him so special – Oh he is the Prime Minster right! We live in an uninspired politicised public health system and if you are a nurse you are threatened by the nurse regulatory authority here in NSW for expressing a genuine, honest, evidence based, public interest ‘personal’ or professional opinion. I keep in touch with the research usually several steps ahead of this political standard, dull and bland public health messaging.

    We all have to make our own choices, but I do believe for the vast majority of the population there is minimal risk and no doubt far greater risk from not having the AZ vaccine. If I had no history and no professional concerns I would be happy to take it. I usually have the flu vaccine each year and all the routine vaccinations for life when traveling and in the course of my career as much for the protection of the people we care for as myself. I believe the public should be properly and fully informed and we should all be afforded a little more respect and choice. But all this government is interested in is private health care – Do you see any private health care, insurance, hospital contribution being made in this country to the current Covid-19 crisis or public vaccination program? No of course not, because it is for profit, sucking the life out of our biggest asset, which is what these current Liberals do in almost every sphere of public life.

    Today we see reported in the UK, seven people have died from unusual blood clots after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, the medicines regulator has confirmed to the BBC. 30 have reported hospital admissions due to blood clots. No doubt among millions of vaccinations the incidence is very low, all good for the general population with no indicative conditions, not so good for the small minority who do.

    Now finally our health care system has to recognise the problem. There is no definitive research to tell us this vaccine is safe for that minority group, we just don’t know. This whole situation was predictable but Morrison in his maverick arrogant electioneering egoistic approach left us with no choice – He only ever thinks about himself. He put all our eggs in one basket when it came to the general public rollout. We could have had more options, but no Morrison is the defacto expert on everything from tourism (from which he was as good as dismissed in both New Zealand and Australia) to health care and look where it has got us all. He is a bully, grossly incompetent, clearly corrupt on so many measures with the social skills and intelligence of an alley cat. I’ll be pleased when this administration comes to an end and this government is evicted at the next general election as it should; but just wait for the Liberal Corporate executive fear and propaganda machine later in the year, lies and self adulation.

    At the moment, I am at a loss as what to do about vaccination in the situation that has been thrust upon us as are a number of people and minority groups because of this bureaucratic plutocracy we live in. I don’t trust the bland public health advice we are being given, I believe it to be politically motivated, flawed and insufficient. The answer clearly is the general public need to be given facts and levelled with, there is a serious public trust issue because this Federal Government and at least one of our State governments have conflicts of interests, vested interests, investments and a style of authoritarian government that fuels that public distrust, as does their regular corruption, scandals, lies and propaganda. And our public health care system is controlled and gagged by them – Enough is enough.

    What we need is honesty, integrity, tolerance of our diversity, responsibility, professionalism, ethics and best evidence, not politics, bullying, suppression of facts and truth. We need the kind of authenticity, professionalism and integrity we get from people like Dr Norman Swan from the ABC, the only medical expert in the public consciousness I am aware of who has flagged this issue, while our chief medical officers continue to bury their heads in the sand under the rule of their masters.

    Clearly, we can’t even roll out these two vaccines without the trauma and wrench of controversy and delay, meanwhile the UK have vaccinated half their population 2.6 times the size of Australia – A credit to the NHS. You can’t beat an independent professional, well funded, government supported public health care system, with executives protecting its Public Health Service, staff and patients from the excesses, power and politics of politicians and government -This is supposed to be our Westminster system, but now almost totally disregarded and dismantled by the Liberals over the past 25 years. This government won’t even use the State public health care services to roll out the vaccine to the majority of the general public. They can’t even distribute the vaccine reliably to GP centres and hubs up and down the country, or at east as far as the evidence has shown here in NSW.

    So here we are – At the mercy of rampant corrupt neoliberalism not entirely unlike the USA, when we should be fostering an independent reliable trustworthy professional public health voice, not daily announcements from politicians and ministers hogging the limelight for their own self preservation followed by muzzled chief medical health officers. We have practically no loyal independent public service left, just ministerial advisors, privatised contractors and subcontractors who lose their jobs if they don’t do as they are told, many providing advice they are not qualified or expert in, corporates being paid billions; at enormous cost to the nation, financially, socially and culturally.

    Okay that’s my final ‘rant’ in this thread.

  38. Sue

    Thanks again, Jon. Yes, basically we have been stuffed again, by the mindblowing corruption and incompetence of our political masters. I pay attention to Norman Swan, too. He’s the only one who seems to have a modicum of common sense. I did wonder why it was that the PM and his cohort, as well as people like Gladys Berejiklian were getting the best and first jab, when clearly they are not in a high risk category. I thought that group 1B was to get it as well, but there isn’t enough to go round. There should be. There should also be more options. The J&J option (one injection only at about 95% efficacy) and Moderna… it would all help and they would all be better than the Astrazeneca option.

  39. Michael Taylor

    Some years ago, somewhere overseas, a passenger on a plane died of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Our PM at the time, John Howard, brought into law that all Australian passenger planes had to have x number of centimetres between seats so that passengers could regularly stretch their legs, thus reducing the risk of DVT.

    Also in Howard’s day I was the First Aid Officer where I worked, and word came down that we were no longer allowed to give paracetamol to staff because one person, somewhere in Australia, was a paracetamol addict and was given two tablets by a First Aid Officer and those two tablets were near fatal. (Silly, really, as anyone can walk into a chemist or supermarket and buy a pack of 24).

    These days you can die and the govt doesn’t bat an eyelid.

  40. Jon Chesterson


    Iain Glen recites poem by Michael Rosen, music: Nimrod by Elgar
    Video: in support of NHS Charities Together, BFI (May 2020)

    Special tribute to very special people and the inspiration behind health and care for everyone no matter what your station, status, origin and means in life – The staff of the NHS (UK) since 5 July 1948 and today. A beacon to the world and a belief to keep alive that health care is for everyone – not a political or economic football to deny and silence the crowd.

  41. Graham

    You wont get any straight answers out of the politicians or the medicos but if you ask any health economist ( look in Treasury) they will tell you that the government has been advised on what would be considered a political and economically acceptable number of deaths or serious illnesses from vaccine side effects if the pandemic is to be quickly brought to an end.

    It is not a zero figure.

    So don’t expect any of them to bat (surely the worst metaphor verb of the year to date) any eyelids if you are one of the non-zero number

  42. Michael Taylor

    Two days ago the US administered 4 million vaccinations. That’s 4 million in one day. Not one of them was AZ. And let’s not forget that the vaccinations never really got a start until Trump was booted out of office.

    Australia should have had a head start on the US. What went wrong?

  43. Harry Lime

    That’s an easy one pointer Michael…..our country is run by FUCKING MORONS.

  44. Michael Taylor

    They certainly do lack competence, Harry.

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