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Byron Shire
October 4, 2023

Let’s all trust the government and get vaxed! 

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Hans Lovejoy

Australia is following the UK and US in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines. 

Given the enormity of the program, and its wide ranging implications, let’s dig a little into what vaccines are being fast tracked, and how it will roll out.

Half of the world’s population are unable to access basic healthcare.

According to a Department of Health spokesperson, ‘The Government has secured access to COVID-19 vaccines through advanced purchase agreements with AstraZeneca, Novavax and Pfizer’.

They added, ‘Additional COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being evaluated in early stage clinical trials in Australia, including one developed by Flinders University and Adelaide company Vaxine, and four being developed by international companies (SpyBiotech/Serum Institute of India, Novavax, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Symvivo)’.

All will be assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), says the spokesperson, ‘after being tested in large clinical trials on thousands of people. 

They added, ‘The TGA and the Australian Government won’t be cutting any corners in the regulatory process’.  

According to www.health.gov.au, all four are up to Phase III clinical trials, and owing to the fast tracking, ‘some of these phases have been combined’. 

Biomedical intervention vaccinations generally pass through four phases during development, which starts with small groups of people, and expands to hundreds, then thousands.

The Department of Health spokesperson told The Echo, ‘Phase IV clinical trials refer to clinical trials that occur after a vaccine is licensed to continue to monitor safety and effectiveness’.

Who is Pfizer? 

Pfizer produces Viagra, Xanax and Zoloft and, according to Drug Watch, was the second-largest pharmaceutical company, by revenue, in 2020. The largest is Johnson & Johnson. 

Pfizer’s 2019 revenue was US $51.75 billion, according to its financial report.   

Headquartered in the US, Pfizer’s largest shareholders are mutual fund managers, the Vanguard Group being the largest, holding 7.6 per cent. 

BlackRock Fund Advisors are the third biggest shareholders. BlackRock are the world’s largest asset manager, with around $7 trillion under management. 

Like all behemoth corporations, they regularly break the law, defend themselves in court, then pay the fines if they lose. It’s all part of their business model and is factored into profit margins. 

In 2009, ABC News reported Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion ‘for illegal marketing in an off-label drug case’, making it the ‘largest health care fraud settlement in history’.

It’s worth considering that, in light of CNN’s report in November 2020: ‘Shares of Pfizer jumped by almost 15 per cent after the company and its partner, BioNTech, said its vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 among those in the trial without evidence of prior infection’.

A ‘serious’ allergic reactions was recorded from Pfizer’s vaccine, by two UK National Health Service staffers. The UK medicines regulator issued precautionary advice in December that ‘people with a significant history of allergic reactions’ should not be given this vaccine for now.

Pfizer’s vaccine is called Comirnaty COVID-19 mRNA, and according to www.health.gov.au, ‘the vaccine doses purchased by the Australian Government will be manufactured in the United States, Belgium and Germany’.

‘The decision to approve a new vaccine is always made by the TGA on the basis that the benefits outweigh the risks for the intended population’.

Urgency v rigorous assessment

On December 31, 2020, Pfizer’s vaccine was listed as an ‘Emergency Use Listing (EUL) procedure’ by The World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO says, ‘The objective is to make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the emergency while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy and quality’. 

‘The assessment weighs the threat posed by the emergency as well as the benefit that would accrue from the use of the product against any potential risks.

‘The EUL pathway involves a rigorous assessment of late phase II and phase III clinical trial data as well as substantial additional data on safety, efficacy, quality and a risk management plan.

‘These data are reviewed by independent experts and WHO teams who consider the current body of evidence on the vaccine under consideration, the plans for monitoring its use, and plans for further studies.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca makes one of the other vaccines that the government is likely to roll out.

According to www.money.cnn.com, the biggest shareholders in that company appear to be mutual funds such as Wellington Mutual Investors Fund, and Fidelity Contrafund. Interestingly, other companies are listed with similar names, such as Wellington Management and Fidelity Research. 

There are accusations emerging on Twitter regarding AstraZeneca insider trading by members of the Morrison government (ie buying stocks in the company before the government contract was publicly announced). 

Rollout strategy

There’s sparse information regarding the National Rollout Strategy, available on www.health.gov.au. 

The focus will be on vaccinating ‘hospital, quarantine and border staff and residential aged care and disability residents and staff’. 

Will it be mandatory? 

No, according to www.health.gov.au. The website adds, ‘There are no mandatory vaccines in Australia’. 

Yet this is a misleading statement, given that ‘children who are unvaccinated owing to their parent’s conscientious objection can no longer be enrolled in child care’ (source: www.health.nsw.gov.au).

Meanwhile, a Department of Health spokesperson told The Echo, ‘The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (www.anzctr.org.au) publish information about clinical trials being conducted in Australia and New Zealand, including a number of trials related to COVID-19 [vaccines]. 

‘These sites allow you to search for trials as they become available and contact trial sponsors and coordinators who can provide further information.


‘As these applications are under active review, and owing to the commercial-in-confidence nature of applications for registration of therapeutic goods, the TGA cannot disclose the nature of the clinical trials that have been submitted’.

Further information is available at: www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-vaccines. 

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  1. About a year ago the public, globally, had no faith in Governments, Banks, Insurance companies or churches … in other words, all of the institutions once held in high regard.

    And rightly so… but cometh the plague !!!!

    I have watched in horror as people suddenly believe all their told about the COVID debacle while seemingly all other actions of leaders, like our Premier and Prime Minister, are ignored, because you sheep think they know what they are doing and are going to save you from the dreaded lurgy !!!

    Historically, it takes 7 – 14 years to develop safe and affective vaccines.

    No way this little black sheep is lining up for the jab !!!

  2. Why do you give these people space in your paper?Just take your vitamins you will be fine. Here we have a pandemic killing thousands including more than 9/11 everyday in the US, and these antivaxxers are allowed to spread their nonsense. Oh wait it’s probably a conspiracy or a bad cold- come on this matter is serious, not the pseudoscience they write about.

  3. Rod, why is it fair that the Echo gives a voice to PRO vax and NOT “anti-vax” OR PRO-medical freedom people??? Why can’t other people have an opinion different to others and still be respected??? Why do people like you get so hateful towards others who question the mainstream narrative??? Is it because we have the ability to think for ourselves and don’t believe everything we are told and you’re jealous because you don’t have the ability to think for yourself??
    I was surprised, There’s quite a bit of factual information in this piece regarding the $2.3 BILLION dollar fine that Pfizer paid for illegal drug marketing. And you feel 100% confident to be injected with an experimental MRNA vaccine (that will change your Genome permanently With unknown long term ramifications) that has a measly 95% effectiveness rate that DOESNT stop transmission Of the virus OR the need to wear masks. Are you REALLY willing to risk your own health and life (and family members lives) in the name of Junk Science, handing over the reins to the hands of these clearly dangerous and highly $$$$$$$$$$ incentivised pharmaceutical companies?!?! For a virus with a 97% recovery rate…. that has been scientifically proven to be cured with natural remedies with ZERO adverse effects 🤔

    • It’s mind boggling that so many people still trust the pharmaceutical industry,which is probably far more ruthless and definitely many times richer than the mafia! They have zero interest in the health of people,they make the money from disease and they use the doctors as their legal drug dealers! If you feel you want to be jabbed by them go for it with all your ignorance,but leave people alone who don’t want to buy into the highly questionable approach of the medical mafia!

    • The coronavirus vaccine produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca will be available on a non-profit basis “in perpetuity” to low- and middle-income countries in the developing world.

      The above fact would have been helpful in providing context and “motivation” in the article. It’s relevant to the impression given, the narrative being built by the journalist. Oxford university scientists led the way to try to make a vaccine to help the entire population of the world, they are genuinely doing their best to keep it affordable. It’s the only vaccine with that financial objective – ensured access by the developing world. It’s admirable and should have been mentioned in the article.

      Here in Australia (low population density, island nation) we have for now kept the health crisis at bay. But for doctors and medical workers can you imagine what the implications are? I have friends and family in UK, France and US. Amongst them doctors and nurses. The pandemic means something really different for them than it does for the average person, and especially the average Australian. All those medical workers are facing a flood of sick people with Covid and so many horrible deaths. That’s really awful for them. It’s important to consider what it’s like to try and be a health worker, someone who wants to help keep people well, in conditions where it’s almost impossible to do your job. As we all consider your own personal risk and comfort zones, there is a greater system we all exist inside. I’m Australia because of universal public health care (high quality govt provided health care, only around since the mid 70’s) we can all relax knowing that if our appendix bursts or you have a terrible car accident that the hospital can help you. But what if the hospital was full? That’s what the pandemic means in other countries less fortunate than ours. Let’s open our hearts and minds to what it means to be a doctor or nurse or hospital cleaner during a pandemic. Let these considerations be part of our mental landscape as we consider the opportunity to vaccinate ourselves against the coronavirus.

  4. The above article is not a letter to the Editor, it has been written by the Editor. I find this appalling. An Editor should be unbiased. Hans Lovejoy is an anti-vaxer.

    Typical of The Echo.

  5. The Echo is an excellent local paper, why sully it with antivax, anti-5G and other silly nonsense?
    Stick to the science and not this bogus ‘raising concerns’ farrago.

  6. Really people change my genome, affecting my health- do you know what’s going on and of course I’m anowner of big pharma! Really why should antivaxxers be given a voice with all the misinformation they distribute. You sound like all those qanon people, say hello to George Christensen and Kelly for me please.

  7. Australia is following in the vein of the UK and US untul we Australians come to the pointy end, the syringe.
    Fear has heightened here in Australia for we are afraid to get the new UK super-strain of COVID-19, and so we wait for the vaccine that will save us from the United Kingdom verson of the virus.
    We hear that the Queen and Prince Phillip have already been vaccinated. Meanshile we here out in the colony can only dream to be royalty. Damn the convicts.

  8. Corona virus vaccine is NOT a vaccine . Let’s NOT all get vaxed!,
    I feel compelled to not acquiesce to the relentless mainstream propaganda and mind controlled of the population through fear of contagion by a virus which may not even exist. There is no evidence that the virus has been isolated or identified. The PCR test is not a diagnostic tool according to its inventor Dr Kary Mullis Nobel Prize Winner. He clearly stated that the PCR test should never be used as a diagnostic tool for any infectious agent. It can be geared by amplification of the sample to give false positives. Indeed the Tanzanian President doing his own investigation with samples from non – human sources revealed a quail, a goat and papaya samples tested positive to Covid 19 !!
    The clear and present danger NOW lies in the vaccine NOT the virus. It’s extremely urgent NOW for people to turn off the television and to seek out some truths pertaining to this incredible hoax. This PLANDEMIC has been in the pipeline for many decades. STOP calling people the derogatory term Conspiracy Theorists. Such people have the courage intelligence and insight to look beyond the brain washing idiot box..
    “It is easier to fool people than it is to convince them that they’ve been fooled” Mark Twain

  9. Perhaps if everyone took a little bit of time to fully digest what the COVID is now doing. If everyone was up to date they would know right now we have 2 (two) mutations of the original COVID strain. 1 is the UK, the other is South African, any vaccine based on best estimate of available information will give some protection against the original strain.
    How come we have these vaccines so soon, Governments around the world have thrown fists full of money at the researchers to create a vaccine and they have.
    Australia is not alone in the fight against COVID, it is a world wide pandemic affecting all countries, so each and every country has a vested interest in a vaccine.
    We also need to remember, COVID vaccine is free for us, this is the same across the world.
    If you really want to say thanks for nothing to someone make it China, it is their virus that escaped and has spread right across our planet. killing millions, making as many extremely ill and lucky to have survived.
    So please, if you do not believe the W.H.O., our own medical specialists, I suggest you start paying attention to what is happening around you with regards to COVID – your life and the lives of those around depend on compliance.

  10. In attempting to make out that the govt are lying and that there is a mandatory component, by including the suggestion that children going to child care must be vaccinated, is just pure misinformation and total rubbish journalism. The TRUTH is that NO children under 12 are getting this vaccine, nor are pregnant women, both very important points and both completely omitted from this article. Lots of quotes, little actual journalism. And the juxtaposed placement of the Conspiracies in the Pub article will just further feed all of this madness in so many in Mullum in particular. Why were these two extremely important points omitted? And using a facetious headline that suggests “yeah let’s all trust the govt” just feeds the fears of the anti-vaxx/conspiracy/vaccine hesitant. While we probably all occasionally consider that the Govt sometimes tells half-truths, the facts are the facts, and by only giving just some of the facts in this article, the Echo is no better than what they claim of the Govt. Maybe a more considered article, that is based on the science, and not on the financial aspects of involved vaccine companies, would be of far more benefit to enlightening and not fearmongering the community. But better to leave that to actual science educated folk and not just an Echo writer/musician with no science background whatsoever.

  11. Quiet everyone! Just eat & swallow you vegemite on toast – it’ll fix anything. As for the
    ‘system’ things are unsure. My local GP doesn’t even bother to contact me when flu
    -shots are due.

    • Nice that someone, thank you Stefanie, has brought in the topic of the flu. Influenza, SARS, MERS and now Covid-19 are all corona viruses, none of which we have developed a ‘cure’ against. The annual flu vaccine doesn’t stop one from being infected with influenza, the hope being that if vaccinated and then contracting influenza, the vaccination results in a level of protection that reduces duration and severity of infection. Even with the flu jabs, each year some 2,000 – 3,000 Aussies die from Influenza. Each year a new flu vaccine is developed to deal with the latest strain of the flu. I suspect that the same will be the case with Covid-19, with no ‘cure’, an annual ‘Covid jab’ will be required.


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