Clive Palmer paying for anti-vaccination ads on Queensland airwaves

Covid-19 vaccines, See all newsletters, @TGAgovau, June 6, 2021, June 5, 2021, @ComRadioAU

Anti-vaxxer Clive Palmer at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

Clive Palmer has been accused of deliberately spreading misinformation to undermine vaccination efforts in advertisements that aired across Queensland airwaves.

The ads, which were heard across stations throughout Queensland last week, were part of an ongoing campaign from the controversial businessman-turned-anti-vaxxer to keep Australia open during the pandemic.

The ads include the following audio: “Australia has had one Covid-19 associated death in 2021. But the TGA reports that there’s been 210 deaths and over 24,000 adverse reactions after covid vaccinations. Authorised by Clive Palmer, Brisbane.”

The ads are based on publicly-available information from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

But Palmer’s ads omitted the section that declared clearly: “Apart from the single Australian case in which death was linked to TTS (Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome), Covid-19 vaccines have not been found to cause death.”

Covid-19 vaccines, See all newsletters, @TGAgovau, June 6, 2021, June 5, 2021, @ComRadioAU

Anti-vaxxer Clive Palmer at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

The TGA website states that authorities “closely monitor suspected side effects (also known as adverse events) from the use of Covid-19 vaccines” and “most of the adverse events reported to the TGA are expected side effects seen with vaccines generally”.

It goes on to say that many deaths recorded after a Covid-19 vaccine was administered “were in frail elderly people and were coincidental with vaccination”.

“This was confirmed following review by the TGA and medicine regulators in the UK, Europe and the US which found no specific safety concerns from use of the vaccines in older people”.

Australia had administered 3.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines up until May 23 this year and received 210 reports of deaths following immunisation, which include 109 for the Pfizer vaccine and 94 for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But the TGA reports that 93 per cent of those reports were for people aged 65 and over and more than 75 per cent of those were for people aged 75 and over. “Many of the deaths relate to elderly aged-care residents,” the TGA website declares.

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The TGA says it reviews all deaths reported after a vaccination is administered and compares them with expected natural death rates.

“To date, the observed number of deaths reported after vaccination is actually less than the expected number of deaths.

“Each year in Australia, there are about 160,000 deaths, equating to 13,300 a month or 3050 each week. In the most recent reporting year, two-thirds of these deaths were in people aged 75 years and over.

Covid-19 vaccines, See all newsletters, @TGAgovau, June 6, 2021, June 5, 2021, @ComRadioAU

Clive Palmer during a media conference which was held in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius PickardSource:News Corp Australia

“Apart from the single Australian case in which death was linked to TTS, Covid-19 vaccines have not been found to cause death.”

The TGA does acknowledge that “it is possible in frail older people that even relatively mild and expected adverse reactions following the vaccination may contribute to deterioration of an underlying illness”.

“For this reason, the Product Information documents for both the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca vaccines provide advice about vaccinating frail elderly people (over 85 years old) and warn that the potential benefits of vaccination must be weighed against the potential risks for each individual person.”

Rural Australian doctor Minh Le Cong was among those outraged by the Palmer ads. On Twitter he wrote: “Just heard the Clive Palmer anticovid vax radio advert. Outrageous claim that TGA have reported over 200 deaths linked to covid vaxs in Oz! He must be stopped from this nonsense campaign!”

Just heard the Clive Palmer anticovid vax radio advert . Outrageous claim that @TGAgovau have reported over 200 deaths linked to covid vaxs in Oz! He must be stopped from this nonsense campaign!

— Minh Le Cong (@ketaminh) June 6, 2021

Others were critical of those broadcasters who aired the ads from the United Australia Party.

Have I got this right? Social media – Twitter, Facebook – are banning conspiracy theorists like Naomi Wolf and Craig Kelly for spreading damaging public health lies during pandemic, but commercial radio stations are allowed to profit by broadcasting Clive Palmer’s anti-vax lies?

— Dr Queen Victoria (@Vic_Rollison) June 5, 2021

Very disappointing to hear anti vax radio ads today authorised by Clive Palmer @ComRadioAU this is incredibly irresponsible considering the current political climate

— Penny Dahl (@Pennycopter) June 5, 2021

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