NewsIt’s One Thing To Doubt The Safety Of A Vaccine From Indooroopilly, But Tell That To Someone From India

It’s One Thing To Doubt The Safety Of A Vaccine From Indooroopilly, But Tell That To Someone From India

The old political refrain of “It’s the economy, stupid” has an echo in the vaccine debate with “It’s the environment which counts.”

We're not speaking about polar bears. The environment, in this case, is where you live and the degree of threat perceived or otherwise from the pandemic. It’s this factor that may have a significant effect on vaccine hesitancy.

I realised that this week after reading your varied and vivid comments on the vaccination debate last week, which raised many issues.

When I sought the opinion of a drug company executive on the doubts about vaccine safety, he simply said:

“Don’t worry, it’s all about the environment.”

His point: if you live in Melbourne, where the rate is currently low, it’s no surprise some people say they won’t be vaccinated.

But if the same people were, let us say, in Mumbai, India, he believes many would be breaking down doors to get the vaccine.

You may agree or not. In Australia, we remain lucky enough to have the threat seemingly under control, notwithstanding regular ‘scares’.

But before you read a selection of your comments to last week’s blog, consider this: would you change your views if you lived somewhere where the pandemic was rampant?

Anonymous from NSW commented:

"No thanks. Will not be going near any vaccine."

Margaret from NSW said:

"You may have a minor reaction, no worry I am told this just shows your body has a very active immune system. Northing to be worried about. Think about the diseases and deaths that have been stopped by vaccination."

Anonymous from NSW commented:

"You can have mine, I’ll never have it no matter how much dribble is put out about it. Good luck with your shots, you’re going to need it."

Michael from NSW commented:

"I'm a 62-year-old male with an underlying medical condition, & received my first AstraZeneca shot on April 1. As a former Pharmacovigilance (drug efficacy, safety & benefit-risk management) Researcher, I had no hesitation, given the high benefit of getting the jab compared to the low risk of getting a blood clot (now calculated at one in 200,000). There is NO current pharmaceutical product (or Asian herbal product) that is guaranteed 100% free of adverse reactions in 100% of patients, due to varying medical & physiological differences in individuals, but we are all happy to take our every-day meds. Of course everyone should weigh up their own COVID vaccine benefit-risk ratio with their GP, as you would with any other medication, but unfortunately, the media is blowing out of proportion the risk of blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine. For 48 hours after my shot, I experienced mild headache, muscle pain at the injection site & general lethargy. This is nothing compared to the symptoms of catching COVID."

Read the rest of the comments on our website and add some of your own.

For the record I am resolute on this issue. Vaccines are a public and personal good. I’ll be getting mine ASAP and would encourage others to do so.


Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

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It’s One Thing To Doubt The Safety Of A Vaccine From Indooroopilly, But Tell That To Someone From India

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catherine from QLD commented:

This is why vaccination is a good thing: The polio vaccine, invented by Jonas Salk, became publicly available for the first time on May 1, 1956. It is estimated Dr Salk could have made $9 billion had he patented the vaccine, but instead he left it unpatented to make it as readily available as possible. Polio, a disease which killed millions and left countless more paralysed, is now effectively eradicated around the world. 

Taryn from VIC commented:

All Australia supplies should do to India and any other country in the same dreadful situation. We should be at the end of the line !!! 

Karen from WA commented:

Please send this to all Dr's yes on india There IS help and their is NOTHING in this anti vax or the Medication which should be for PREVENTION only! Please listen and maybe help save a life? Show it to your Dr before deciding on ANY self medication. 

Kurian from NSW commented:

My opinion is still the same. I understand and feel for the people of India but the precautions Australia has adopted have been our saving grace. India has not implemented the same precautions for whatever reason I don’t know. Australia is trying to protect the people by stopping the virus being brought in here from the infected countries. It could be rampant in here in a very short period of time . We are trying to deal with the disease we already have in quarantine let alone bringing any more into to our already stretched resources. With the situation overseas I would not attempt to visit any of these countries . We are very lucky so far . Once the vaccine dramas are sorted and we are confident with the information being supplied is truthful, then I will have the jab of choice for me. I still wonder why would people have stayed overseas when they knew about the covid spread and not returned immediately? Just thinking 🤔 out loud 

NICHOLIS from NSW commented:

I am thinking of getting the vaccine only after i get a platelet level count as i had low platelets and i have been taking iron tablets for the last 9 months 

Verna from QLD replied to NICHOLIS:

If you look up 'White board doctor ' on YouTube, they had a video a couple of days ago about Factor 4 in platelet biology could be the most implicated, but as they state, it's potentially the cause of the clotting but yet to be 100% proven 

Suzanne from QLD commented:

The Covid vaccine has not been tested as a vaccine. Therefore it is an experimental drug. Keep that in mind. 

Karen from NSW replied to Suzanne:

Suzanne: I am genuinely interested in why you think the vaccines have not been tested and that that is the basis for your refusal. The truth of the matter is this: The main reason for long development time is that each step in the process relies on separate funding. So, funding arrives and a piece of the work is done. Then it stops until more funding is found. Three trial phases each reports written, results evaluated and licenses applied for. Approvals granted and the vaccine rolled out as required. This can take a decade or more. So what is different about the COVID vaccines? Well, the Pfizer vaccine had been in development since the SARS outbreak in 2002 - almost 20 years! The technology had been developed already which meant that only a relatively small tweak was necessary for it to be effective against COVID-19. Other vaccines such as the AstraZeneca are based on well-proven use of adenoviruses that have been in use for decades. Once the COVID virus DNA was released to the scientific community, it was not so difficult to develop an effective vaccine. And all this was speeded up during 2020 because the issue of funding was removed: Governments round the world were pouring money into the development, scientists were all sharing information and evaluations done concurrently; result waiting times reduced but not the process. Finally, many countries around the world such as the USA, European countries, UK, etc all gave 'emergency use' clearance to the vaccines as they became available and rollout began. Australia does not have an 'emergency use' approval mechanism. That means that Australia's approval followed exactly the same approval process as all other vaccines at any other time. 'Real world' data of delivery of tens of millions of doses of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine prove conclusively to date they are safe and effective as advised by ATAGI and approved by the TGA. You are not alone in your thinking but I am truly at a loss to understand why. 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

Too bad one of the anonymous commenters doesn’t even have the intelligence level to use correct language (it’s “drivel” in the context used; not “dribble”). 

Annette from QLD commented:

We are both in our 80’s and had absolutely no effects from the jab 

Brian from QLD commented:

Both my wife and I are in our 70,s Had the AZ injection 4 weeks ago. Both have very serious underlying medical conditions. After effects Me... NIL. Wife sore arm for 2 days. nothing else. Also had Flu shot NO effects. Cannot wait to get our 2nd AZ shots so we can relax. I only think of the others refusing the vacines as very, very selfish people. Brian 

Christine from QLD commented:

Apart from the health side of the equation there’s also the practical side. I wouldn’t be surprised if some airlines require proof of vaccination before allowing you to fly (some are already doing this). It’s probably not a concern if you don’t fly anywhere but those that do love to travel or just visit loved ones will need to consider this because whether or not you agree with the vaccination if you don’t have it & it’s a condition of travel you simply won’t be allowed to fly. 

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