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Misleading radio messages about COVID-19 vaccine safety
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is seriously concerned about misleading information, authorised by Mr Clive Palmer that has recently been broadcast on radio stations in the Grant Broadcasters Radio network and which provides an incorrect picture of the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
The TGA investigates reported adverse events and has found only one case where an individual with vaccine related thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) or any other related condition has passed away.
Sadly, about 160,000 people die in Australia every year - almost 3000 each week - and therefore it is quite expected that there have been some deaths reported within days or a few weeks of vaccination.
All deaths and serious illnesses that are reported as possibly being linked to vaccination are reviewed by an expert team of clinical staff and advice is obtained on particular cases from a panel of external medical specialists and community representatives.
Analysis includes comparing expected natural death rates to observed death rates following immunisation as well as in depth reviews of the patient histories. The TGA is open and transparent about adverse events reported, by publishing the weekly report and through the Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN), which makes individual adverse events publicly available online 90 days after reporting.
Such misinformation, in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, poses an unacceptable threat to the health of Australians. COVID-19 has resulted in the deaths of over 3.7 million people worldwide including over 900 deaths in Australia.
Health professionals and consumers can report suspected adverse events following immunisation directly to the TGA, or to public health units in their state or territory. In some states, it is mandatory for health professionals to report adverse events. The TGA encourages health professionals to report even if they are not sure that the vaccine caused an adverse event.
Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against infectious diseases such as COVID-19. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect the wider community.
Public figures have a responsibility to be factual and to not to undermine our health through spreading misleading information. The head of the TGA, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt has written to both Mr Palmer and the CEO of the Grant Broadcasters Radio network to remind them of this responsibility.