The ‘shameful’ comments of Queensland’s top doctor have come back to haunt her with anti-vaxxers using her remarks to make disinformation posters.
Chief health officer Jeannette Young has been quick to slam the flyers pinned up across Melbourne calling them ‘nonsense’.
However the black-and-white image accurately quote her remarks in June where she discouraged young people from getting vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
‘I don’t want an 18-year-old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who, if they got COVID, probably wouldn’t die,’ the poster says with a picture of Dr Young.
She made the comments after the federal government announced anyone over 18 could immediately request the British jab.
Australian health authorities had previously restricted its use for those aged under 50 after it was linked to extremely rare blood clots.
Dr Young at the time went on to say: ‘We’ve had very few deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia in people under the age of 50.
‘Wouldn’t it be terrible that our first 18-year-old in Queensland who dies related to this pandemic died because of the vaccine?’
But with fatal blood clots occurring at a rate of about one in 1 million in Australia and largely affecting those with underlying health conditions, her comments provoked outrage in the medical community.
Many said her ‘fear-mongering’ position on AstraZeneca risked derailing the nation’s already lagging vaccine progress.
Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham in the aftermath slammed Dr Young and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk labelling their stance ‘shameful’ and ‘deeply unhelpful’ as the government tries to combat hesitancy.
‘The politicisation of the vaccine rollout that has been attempted by some, particularly by some state politicians in Queensland, is shameful,’ he told Sunrise.
‘It is the case that Australians who are young who contract Covid can go to intensive care units and do have a risk of dying from Covid.
‘That risk is higher than the risk of the clotting complications from the AstraZeneca vaccine.’
But Queensland’s Department of Health on Tuesday fired back at the anti-vaxxer movement, calling the posters a misrepresentation of her statements.
‘The comment has been taken completely out of context,’ a Queensland Health spokesman said.
‘We urge the community to disregard this anti-vaccination nonsense – the Queensland chief health officer strongly advocates for vaccination every day.
‘To try to use a strong vaccination advocate in an anti-vaccination rally is absurd and contradictory in itself.’
The health from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on the AstraZeneca vaccine has varied several times during the pandemic sowing hesitancy and confusion amongst the population.
When the jab was linked to an extremely rare, but in some cases fatal blood clotting condition called TTS in April, ATAGI recommended it only be administered to those aged over 50 as young people are more susceptible.
What are the chances of dying from a blood clot after AstraZeneca?
One in 1.9million people have died from a blood clot after AstraZeneca.
By comparison, Aussies have a one in 33 chance of dying if they catch Covid-19, a one in 12,000 chance of being struck by lightning and a one in 55 chance of winning the Oz Lotto.
That advice was then changed to those above 60 before an expert panel later insisted anyone aged over 18 living in a Covid hotspot should ‘strongly consider’ getting the jab if they do not have access to the Pfizer vaccine.
AstraZenica has been linked to eight TTS deaths in Australia and one ITP fatality – another extremely rare blood disease.
This represents a less than a one in 1 million chance of death after getting the jab.
In contrast, the risk of dying if you catch Covid-19 is 42,000 in 1 million.
Melbourne, which has endured the world’s longest accumulative lockdown, has been a hotbed of anti-vaccination sentiment during the pandemic with wild protests breaking out in the city last week.Internet Explorer Channel Network