Members Of Parliament Hold Media Doorstops As Parliamentary Sitting Continues
Members Of Parliament Hold Media Doorstops As Parliamentary Sitting Continues

CQ Senator Canavan’s anti-AstraZeneca stance justified

Central Queensland based senator Matt Canavan's anti-AstraZeneca stance has been justified after the Federal Government recommended the COVID-19 vaccine not be administered to people aged under 50.

The Nationals senator copped widespread criticism on March 16, when he called for the AstraZeneca jab to be halted, following reports of serious blood clots being experienced by European recipients.

Senator Canavan's call for the AstraZeneca rollout to be suspended until more was known about its side effects came after Spain, Germany, France and Italy suspended their rollouts.

"I think we should take the cautious approach as many nations in Europe have taken, like France, like Spain, like Germany and Italy," he said.

"We shouldn't just blindly rush forward with something, when we've got a few safety concerns, we should have the confidence to pause the rollout while we investigate the link.

"If it's determined that this isn't a risk we should continue the rollout, but we've got the Pfizer vaccine as a possibility."

Fewer than three weeks after Senator Canavan was captured on national TV calling for the AstraZeneca rollout to be suspended, on April 2, Prime Minister Scott Morrison justified his stance.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly hold a press conference after the national cabinet meeting at Parliament House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly hold a press conference after the national cabinet meeting at Parliament House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

The Prime Minister was joined by chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly when they fronted the media over blood clot concerns associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"We've made this preference for not using AstraZeneca in the under 50s on the basis of that safety concern but I would really urge people to make sure that they are lining up when it's their turn," Prof Kelly said.

The news that Australia had secured an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine came on the same day the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved changed transport requirements.

Previously, the TGA advised the Pfizer vaccine had to be stored at or below -70C.

The TGA approved the storage and transportation of unopened vials of the vaccine at domestic freezer temperature levels of -25C to -15C for up to two weeks.

Senator Canavan thanked the medical professionals who had contacted him regarding the AstraZeneca risks.

"Good on the Federal Government for having the guts to change tack on vaccine plans when new information about risks came to light," he said.

"This should give everyone confidence that safety is being put first when they get the vaccine.

"Thanks to all the medical professionals who have contacted me in recent weeks to provide invaluable information about the risks."

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