I have my first AstraZeneca vaccination today, and I face it with some trepidation because of the clotting problem which has been associated with it. Even though the chances are very slight, or even minuscule, occurring at a rate of up to six people per million vaccinated1, if it happens to me, the odds will not matter. My partner has been fully vaccinated, having had two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the second one three weeks ago. The reason for the delay in getting mine is that I was booked in several weeks ago, but a few days before I was due to be jabbed I came down with a bad dose of influenza and had a temperature. Having a temperature was one of the symptoms which prevents a person receiving a vaccination. However, I am healthy now, and am off to get my arm punctured in about an hour.

Health Minister Greg Hunt claimed that “official” discussions with Pfizer had begun in December 2020, but after the truth leaked out, he finally confirmed that the government met with Pfizer in July of 2020 to discuss the purchase of the Pfizer vaccine. Australia was given options for as many doses as needed to be delivered in January of 2021, yet the government turned down the offer2. According to Hunt, the government rejected the offer citing “medical advice”, however this was most likely based on “commercial advice” because the there was no “medical advice” available at the time. It is suspected that the Pfizer offer was turned down for two reasons. It was more expensive than the AstraZeneca, and because the AstraZeneca vaccine could be manufactured in Australia by CSL. It has turned out that the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against certain strains of COVID emerging, such as that from South Africa2.

If Australia had taken the Pfizer offer, we could have had 40 million doses of their vaccine in January2, and it is likely that we could have had a vaccination rate like that of nations such as the UK or the US, where almost half their populations have been vaccinated. Australia currently has a vaccination rate of about one tenth of that, with only 4.8% of the population fully vaccinated3. This is a complete shemozzle by the federal government and makes me grateful that the federal government devolved responsibility to the states in dealing with the pandemic. That is the way Morrison works. He abrogates responsibility, in the hope that no blame is apportioned to him. However, with the vaccine purchase and distribution, this is solely on the federal government, and it has been completely shambolic. If the current spread of the much more contagious Delta variant in Sydney, southeast Queensland, and Northern Territory leads to more deaths because of the low vaccination rate, those deaths will be on Morrison’s head. In addition, the nations with a higher vaccination rate are starting to open up their economies, whereas Australia is entering another phase of lockdown. This will cost the economy, largely because of the government’s stupidity and self-interest. 

Another aspect of this shemozzle, is the fact that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be manufactured by CSL, and this has allowed members of the Coalition parties to profit from the purchase of CSL shares. At about June 2020, federal MP Dave Sharma purchased shares in CSL. This is the company that, behind closed doors, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, tipped to manufacture what turned out to be the AstraZeneca vaccine4,5. It has been reported that at least two other Coalition parliamentarians have also bought shares in CSL. This is symptomatic of this government. They are solely concerned with what’s in it for them and bugger everyone else.

Most of the people I know in other parts of the world have had the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine. If I had a choice, I’d get the Pfizer vaccine, but in Morrison’s Australia, I don’t get a choice.


  1. https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-does-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-cause-blood-clots
  2. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/governments-appalling-error-rejects-offer-of-40-million-pfizer-doses-in-july-2020/
  3. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
  4. https://twitter.com/RonniSalt/status/1296971473974779905
  5. https://blotreport.com/2020/09/23/corruption-galore-5/


  • Mark Dougall says:

    It is truly a joke. My aging mother in law got her first AZ shot at the beginning of June. We booked her appointment for her in April and this was the date we got. She won’t be fully vaccinated, with the less effective vaccine, until September. My wife who did not like the idea of AZ, became eligible for Pfizer when they raised the age limit and got in and had her first shot last week. She will be fully vaccinated, with the better vaccine, six weeks before her mother. Not really looking after the most vulnerable are we? As Mark MacGowan has said, to overcome vaccine hesitancy, and get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible, we need to make Messenger rna vaccines available to all age groups. We should also look at the Janssen (J&J) vaccine which is a one shot vaccine with virtually no side effects and a much lower risk profile than AZ. If AZ was the only vaccine that was available then everyone would be on board, or at least most people would be, but it isn’t, and we know that it is not the best, with regards to risk and performance.

    • admin says:

      It is a complete stuffup. If I kick the bucket because of clotting in my abdomen or brain, and there is about a 1 in a million chance of that happening, then I will be a victim of Morrison’s duplicity and incompetence. I have just read that in Queensland only about 60% of health professionals are vaccinated because they are running out of Pfizer, and the federal government has refused to give them any more. This is apparently because we do not have enough. We could have had 40 million doses in January if the government hadn’t buggered it up.

  • Jon says:

    If you were health or quarantine Minister (we already know that Morrison is incapable of even elementary tasks without resorting to prayer or Jenny, so it falls to them) one of the first things you’d have done – assuming you have at least some nous and weren’t as intellectually lazy as most federal politicians – was to ask your Dept to make a list of: (a) the most vulnerable; (b) those at most risk of catching and transmitting C19 (eg q hotel workers, airline staff, idiot limo/transport drivers etc); (c) ALL potential sources entering the country – especially airline staff!

    Then you’d make sure ALL these groups were compulsorily vaccinated asap – esp workers in Q facilities, frontline health staff, and WITHOUT EXEMPTION, ALL airline staff. If I was PM no airline staff without full vaccination would be permitted to set foot on our shores. Hardly rocket surgery.

    Then again we’ve already established without doubt that quarantine as we have it doesn’t work and that it’s the most likely cause of new C19 outbreaks, yet Morrison and his crew (they are all responsible, particularly the Cabinet) have done nothing significant to improve it, so why would anyone expect BASIC COMPETENCE?

    • admin says:

      This mob are incapable of doing much of anything. They were initially installed to do nothing but keep the status quo for the wealthy. So, when something crops up like this pandemic, they are at a complete loss. When doing nothing is your modus operandi, having to do something is a massive challenge.

  • Jon says:

    It all could be a calculated risk by Morrison of course. He figures he’ll be forgiven for vaccination balls-ups but meantime the spotlight is away from further evidence of their corruption – or as Labor would quite wrongly have you think about it – “rorting”: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-funded-27-car-parks-just-one-day-before-he-called-the-election-20210629-p585c2.html

    We have without doubt one of the most incompetent and corrupt governments in modern Au history (Howard’s government runs a close second), yet we have an impotent, leaderless and apparently toothless Labor opposition doing sfa to hold them to account. As someone said a while back – in short, without massive change, we’re fcuked!

    Labor needs to draft Keating back in as Hawke was done so many years ago because Albanese doesn’t cut it, nor do his other public spokesmen and women. No fight and no bite, let alone the required mongrel to relentlessly go after these conservative bastards.

  • Warren says:

    I’ve had one shot of the AZ. Second shot will be on the 1 August. I admit I would have been more comfortable having the AZ shot if Moronison himself had the AZ and not Pfizer. I wonder if Jen and the girls have been AZ vaccinated?

    Being a suspicious bugger, I also wonder if LNP states have received a better strollout deal than Labor states? Whatever way you look at it Oz has received a bum deal. So many stuffups. Team Australia is going down the gurgler.

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