During our national vaccine rollout, Australians have been cajoled with fear, threats, shifting messages, and the silencing of dissent. Something doesn’t sit right about the way Australia is dealing with this virus. We can and must do better.

For those who have been happily vaccinated, there is a sense of optimism in the air. Lockdowns are ending. Our country has run a successful vaccination program with some of the highest take-up rates in the world. Life is returning to normal.

But this is not everyone’s experience. The Sydney Morning Herald this week reported that 10,000 Australians have filed coronavirus vaccine injury claims.

Hundreds of thousands of other Australians are out of work for a different reason: they were sacked after deciding not to take one of the provisionally-approved vaccines.

Despite perfect health, many Aussies are still under discriminatory lockdowns. While everyone else is out and about, they are only allowed to leave their home for ‘essential’ reasons and cannot travel freely within their own state. Tens of thousands will be barred from seeing their interstate loved ones for Christmas if they do not take a government-mandated injection.

This isn’t normal.

You may not be personally affected by these realities, but many of your compatriots are. You may even feel like the punishment they face is justified. But have you tried putting yourself in their shoes? Have you stepped back to take a look at the bigger picture in Australia?

There are a lot of things that don’t sit right about Australia’s response to Covid.

1. The Vaccines Are Not Living Up to Their Promises

There is consistent worldwide data showing that the Covid-19 vaccines significantly reduce rates of serious illness, hospitalisation and death among those who contract the virus. We can be very thankful for this.

However, we still lack scientific consensus on whether the vaccines prevent transmission of the virus. Some published studies suggest that they do help reduce it. Others do not. A recent paper published in The Lancet revealed that fully vaccinated people are just as likely as unvaccinated to pass the virus onto others in a household setting.

Granted, being vaccinated means that you are less likely to become sick in the first place. But the suppression of symptoms has an unintended consequence: those who are vaccinated but sick may be spreading the virus unawares.

These facts — and the flaws of the vaccine passport system — were exposed last month when three Sydney gyms and even the Melbourne Cup saw large Covid outbreaks, despite all present being vaccinated.

Moreover, the vaccines have rapidly waning efficacy. Booster shots are now being required by an increasing number of nations just months after “full vaccination”. We can expect the same in Australia soon.

2. The Vaccines are Killing and Maiming Australians

Do you know how many Australians have died as a result of taking a Covid-19 vaccine? (Hint: the answer isn’t zero).

To date, 656 suspected vaccine-induced deaths have been reported through the TGA’s Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN). Only nine of these deaths have been acknowledged by the TGA as being caused by a vaccine (all were attributed to the AstraZeneca shot). The TGA claims that the remaining 647 reported deaths have only a “coincidental association” with vaccination.

This seems highly unlikely, when the TGA has acknowledged suspected vaccination links to over 500 cases of myocarditis — a condition that has a first-year mortality rate of 20 per cent. Bizarrely, in the last two months, 161 suspected vaccine-induced deaths have been reported to DAEN, and the TGA claims that precisely none of them were caused by a vaccine.

This also doesn’t line up with reports from many anonymous frontline medical workers in Australia, who claim to be seeing distressingly high numbers of post-vaccination heart attacks and deaths:

 

Australia’s Covid-19 death toll, which currently sits at approximately 1,900 — is determined very differently. That number includes all people who have died with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their bodies, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to the virus. In other words, the bar is set very low for inclusion in this statistic. The Covid-19 virus is “guilty until proven innocent”.

But in the case of vaccine deaths, it is the opposite. The TGA sets a very high bar for inclusion in the vaccine death toll by assuming that the vaccines are “innocent until proven guilty”.

It is not just vaccine-induced deaths that should concern us. Myocarditis — which poses the greatest risk to young men taking an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine — is a very serious condition. Only 50 per cent of those who contract it survive after five years.

This is now the fate of hundreds of Australians who took for granted the government’s “safe and effective” messaging. It is also the fate of many who knew the risks but were vaccinated under duress to save their job or home: a choice they never wished to make.

It is true that the rates of these adverse effects are statistically low: some 80,000 reports after 37 million doses of vaccine. But for those who suffer and die, statistics are cold comfort.

Where has our nation’s compassion gone? Nothing that kills or maims should be mandated.

3. Australia Has Suspended its Human Rights Obligations

Australia has long been praised as one of the staunchest defenders of human rights globally. But on the international stage, we are now infamous for setting aside the human rights of our own citizens.

Melbourne is one of the most locked-down cities in the world, with six separate lockdowns and almost 250 days of effective home detention. It is the only city in Australia’s history to see unarmed protesters shot at by police with rubber bullets. Premier Dan Andrews now seeks to make his sweeping pandemic powers permanent through legislation — a move widely condemned by human rights advocates and 60 of Victoria’s top lawyers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state Premiers routinely celebrate vaccine milestones on social media. But they paper over the vast coercive powers they have wielded to deliver such outcomes.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook explains that vaccines “must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation”. Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights agrees:

Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.

Instead, millions of Australians were deprived of their freedom of movement and assembly and their right to work. Then they were told they can gain these rights back from the government by being vaccinated. But even then, how many who were vaccinated were made aware of the deaths and adverse events outlined above?

At best, Australian governments have practiced extracted consent. It is certainly not “informed consent” as we have long known it.

A vaccine that is safe and effective should sell itself without the need for undue pressure. A person’s health alone should be enough reason for them to consent to a medical treatment. Feeding one’s family, paying the mortgage or seeing loved ones across state borders should not be used as bargaining chips by the government.

4. Alternative Treatments Have Been Banned

Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19 has been poo-pooed in much of the Western world as a dangerous “horse medicine”. While the drug is also used by veterinarians, some 4 billion doses of Ivermectin have been administered to humans in the four decades since it was discovered. Ivermectin won a Nobel Prize in 2015; it has an incredible safety profile; and it is on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines.

Ivermectin’s patent has also expired, which means it is no longer able to generate profits for governments or pharmaceutical companies.

In early 2020, world-renowned Australian professor Dr Thomas Borody discovered an effective treatment regime for Covid-19 called ‘triple therapy’. By treating patients early with Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Zinc, Borody has seen amazing success. Out of 600 Covid-19 patients treated with the therapy, only five were admitted to hospital and none died. An equivalent control group of 600 patients not treated with it saw 70 hospital admissions and six deaths.

The literature is increasingly clear that Ivermectin is both safe and effective in the treatment of Covid-19. A recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that Ivermectin probably reduces deaths by 62 per cent and possibly reduces transmission by as much as 86 per cent.

Despite this, the TGA recently banned Australian doctors from prescribing Ivermectin for Covid-19. Their reasons were threefold. They are concerned that the use of Ivermectin will discourage Australians from being vaccinated; that social media may cause people to take the drug in the wrong dosage; and that using it for Covid-19 could spark a national shortage of Ivermectin for other uses.

But these reasons make little sense. First, people can choose both vaccination and Ivermectin. Second, if they are prescribed Ivermectin by their doctor, they will know the correct dosage. And third, if there is a shortage of the drug, Australia can meet that demand just as we have with the vaccines. TGA’s reason for banning Ivermectin evidently has nothing to do with Ivermectin’s safety or efficacy — a truly puzzling situation.

Meanwhile, Pfizer has just released a new antiviral drug called Paxlovid, which we are assured is nothing like Ivermectin. The chemical structure of Paxlovid is brand new, making it able to be patented and profitable. However, its modality of action against the Covid virus is precisely the same as that of Ivermectin. This has led some to dub it ‘Pfizermectin’.

 

There are other odd and unexplainable events surrounding the last 18 months. Why, for example, are most Australians not aware that Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc deficiencies are clear underlying risk factors for Covid-19 patients?

The disease is also highly discriminatory against the overweight and obese. Why has good diet and exercise for the able-bodied not been encouraged by our public health officials as much as scanning QR codes or staying at home?

Why are we still not using rapid antigen testing when we know the vaccinated can be sick and spread the virus?

Why are so few people asking these important questions?

5. Medical Professionals Have Been Silenced

In a recent Discernable interview, host Matt Wong asked Dr Carolyne Bosak, a GP, her thoughts on the lifting of lockdowns. Eerily, she replied, “I have an opinion but I actually can’t really express it freely.” She went on to explain a chilling situation.

Most Australians are unaware that registered health practitioners have been given a gag order by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Under threat of losing their license, they must abide by the following ‘position statement’:

Any promotion of anti-vaccination statements or health advice which contradicts the best available scientific evidence or seeks to actively undermine the national immunisation campaign (including via social media) is not supported by National Boards and may be in breach of the codes of conduct and subject to investigation and possible regulatory action.

To put it simply, if an Australian doctor wrote the article you are currently reading, their entire career could be at risk. To speak openly of vaccination deaths and injuries, alternative treatments, or even human rights abuses could be a career-ending move for GPs in today’s Australia.

Consider what this means for informed consent. Unless all GPs are as honest as Dr Bosak, patients who seek medical advice about vaccination will assume their doctor’s counsel is honest and unrestrained. Little do they know that AHPRA, via threats, has already ensured that only one opinion will be available to them as a patient.

There is a distinctly Soviet feel to this silencing of Australia’s medical professionals.

Where are Good Leaders When You Need Them?

I was a pastor for five years, in which time I learned a lot about good leadership. Almost any leadership book you read will tell you that leadership is influence, not power — and that the way to lead well is to be trustworthy, empathetic and responsive to those you are leading.

This is not what we have seen from our leaders and institutions over the last 18 months. Instead, we have been cajoled with fear, threats, shifting messages, and the silencing of dissent.

Do an image search for charts that explain cycles of abuse or clues that you might be in a controlling relationship. That these accurately depict what Australians have endured since March 2020 is a blight on our nation. How will we repair the damage that has been done to Australia’s social fabric?

Soon we will be vaccinating our children, exposing them to serious risks from the vaccine when the virus itself presents nearly no threat to them. In the past, when the world was at war, Australian adults fought and died to save the nation’s children. Soon we will do the opposite — sacrificing children to save adults — all in the name of panic and public health.

People have lost livelihoods, small businesses, homes, family and friends for refusing to take a vaccine that has known serious risks, waning efficacy, and will not achieve herd immunity.

In a first for modern times, Australia now has a two-tiered society; medical segregation that punishes any who refuse to go against their conscience or better judgment to partake in the national vaccine rollout.

These are challenging times for our nation. No one wanted the Covid-19 disaster, and few would want the mantle of leadership in such difficult circumstances. But Australia could be doing so much better. We need to ask more of our leadership.

And we need to pray for Australia.

Good intentions or otherwise, we have strayed a long way from “first, do no harm”. Somehow, we must find our way out of this mess.

Image by Matteo Jorjoson at Unsplash.