The lying never stops

By July 10, 2021Australian Politics, Media

Dennis Shanahan and Yoni Bashan must be pretend journalists as they have written some garbage entitled ‘Flood of Pfizer finally here’. This was presumably written at the behest of Morrison or Murdoch. It began ‘Australia has clinched a potentially game-changing deal to triple its access to Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to one million doses a week from July 19 as Sydney almost certainly does face another seven-day lockdown extension, with authorities struggling to contain the outbreak in the city’s southwest. Scott Morrison on Thursday announced a dramatic acceleration of the vaccination program in Sydney – including 150,000 extra doses of Pfizer and 150,000 AstraZeneca vaccines’1.

On Friday (July 9), Morrison said Australia was getting 1.7 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine a month. He said this month that would increase to 2.8 million doses and by August Australia would get 4.5 million doses, “so that is quite a ramp-up”. He stated that the government was always trying to get deliveries brought forward “so this is very, very welcome”2. But Pfizer issued a statement saying there was no change in the number of doses the company had agreed to deliver to Australia. “The total number of 40 million doses we are contracted to deliver to Australia over 2021 has not changed,” the company said in a statement2. So, the assertion that a ‘flood of Pfizer’ has arrived, as a simple lie. Currently, Australia gets between 300,000 and 500,000 doses of Pfizer per week to administer, but demand has outstripped that. From July 19th, Pfizer has confirmed that Australia can expect 1 million doses per week3.

Dr Norman Swan, from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Health Report, related this story which was corroborated be several sources: “On the 10th of July [2020], there was a meeting between Pfizer and representatives of the Australian government regarding access to their vaccine. The government representatives insisted that Pfizer hand over all their IP, and then started trying to knock down the price4. In the end, the Australian government knocked back the offer of 40 million doses, which could have arrived in Australia in late January, 2021. This would have allowed Australia to have a similar vaccination rate to Israel (at the time of writing 60% of the population are fully vaccinated), the US (47%) or the UK (50%)5,6. Currently, only 8.2% of Australia’s population are fully vaccinated6

Pfizer wanted to make Australia and Israel examples to the world, demonstrating how to roll out a vaccination program, and they simply wanted to know how many doses were required and when they were required. Israel ended up implementing a world-leading Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, with preferential vaccine access from Pfizer playing a major role. In exchange for access to the vaccine, Israel was to provide real-world data on safety and efficacy in their population-wide roll-out4.

Initially, Health Minister tried to hide the fact of the July 2020 meeting, stating that ‘official’ discussions with Pfizer had only started in December 2020, but eventually had to admit that the July meeting had taken place. After knocking back the Pfizer offer of 40 million doses, the Australian government came back later in the year and only ordered 10 million doses5

While Australians are still struggling to get an appointment to be vaccinated (I had to book almost a month in advance for my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine), in Israel, doctors have been calling their patients to offer them the vaccine since late February4. Australia could have been in a much better position with regard to the future pathway out of the Covid-19 pandemic, if the Morrison government had not simply gone for the cheapest option of the AstraZeneca as our primary vaccine. That idiocy will mean that as other countries get close to vaccinating their entire population and can begin to see lockdowns as a thing of the past, we will still have them to look forward to.

Sources

  1. Shanahan, D. & Bashan, Y. 2021. Flood of Pfizer finally here. The Australian, July 9
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/09/pfizer-says-no-change-to-australian-covid-vaccine-doses-contradicting-reports-of-game-changing-deal
  3. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-09/australia-pfizer-doses-announcement-scott-morrison-vaccines/100280104
  4. https://arichlife.com.au/pfizer-offered-australia-preferential-vaccine-deal-in-2020/
  5. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/governments-appalling-error-rejects-offer-of-40-million-pfizer-doses-in-july-2020/
  6. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

13 Comments

  • Arthur Baker says:

    To anyone who has an appointment far in the future, I suggest it’s worth checking from time to time to ask if it could be brought forward. Last week I managed to shrink the time between AZ Vax1 and AZ Vax 2 from four and a half months to 12 weeks and two days. I’ll be getting Vax2 this Thursday. It was as simple as just asking the question.

    I’d also suggest that dropping into the medical practice or clinic in person might be better than trying to phone it. My local medical centre is so swamped with phone calls you spend at least half an hour on hold, IF they answer at all. Often the line just drops out. Walked in the other day, talked to reception, and two minutes later sashayed out the door with more than six weeks cut off my waiting time.

    Annabel Crabb made the point this morning on Insiders that doctors’ receptionists are sick to the back teeth of unexpected announcements from Morrison suddenly making their phones explode. Such as the one a while back where he announced, seemingly without consultation, that people should “talk to their GP” about getting a Vax. One random blather from Morrison, and suddenly life for thousands of medical receptionists turns into daily mayhem. But what would he care? He’s had his Pfizer, so stuff everyone else.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      As I suspect I have said here before, Morrison is one of those people whose only concern is how he perceives himself. He is a malignant narcissist. His recent brainfart regarding under 40s getting AstraZeneca, contrary to advice from ATAGI, was simply to ramp up the rate of vaccination to make himself look better. He would not care if a few young people die from or are disabled by blood clots, as long as he feels his self-image has improved. He is so narcissistic, that he believes his thoughts are actually worth something, and that the expertise of others counts for nothing.

  • Jon says:

    Nothing sums up Shanahan’s economy with the truth better than this oldie but goldie: https://www.crikey.com.au/2008/10/23/nothing-wronger-than-the-oz-when-its-right/

    There needs to be a mausoleum where the corpses of all News Farce political flunkeys are entombed. Not as a shrine but as a beacon to alert future generations about the dangers of propaganda replacing proper, reasoned debate, and the dangerous effect that lies, mis- and dis-information can have on apparently educated and free societies (as if the Trump sycophantry wasn’t adequate warning).

  • Russell says:

    Thanks to Norman Swan and, let’s not forget, the ABC which Liberals bash endlessly,, one can have some shreds of truth!
    I sincerely hope that the population at large will be informed, not by trash like Murdoch’s pack, but through all possible sources on social media, of just how unprincipled, how thoughtless, how lacking common sense, this “Morribundson” and his no-hoper pals are. We have reached a stage of farce over vaccines, airport control of o/s arrivals, the rollout, and idiotic political Covid games.

    It all makes us appear to the developed world, a weird down-under shambles. We have the absolutely most liar-ridden PM and slack, pea-brained ministers in 120 years, and it’s a crying shame on anyone who in future votes for the Lib-Nats at any level of power.

    Luckily, strange to say, the virus is a hot issue and gets people paying attention to how it is handled by the above fools.

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      I think this vaccination shemozzle may be their downfall. And the corruption; and the lies; and the flight from responsibility; and the blame-shifting; and the inability to answer questions……..

      • Jon says:

        You may be overestimating both voter intelligence (or DQ as it should be known) and Labor’s ability (and desire) to expose the Morrison cult’s (it ain’t no government) corruption, incompetence and total lack of policy Admin. Truth be known Albanese’s inability to cut through and their lack of a decent ‘attack dog’ is a large impediment to future adult government in this country.

        • admin says:

          Jon,
          I think that the recent shemozzle that is the vaccine rollout will be making even the thickest of voters think twice.

  • Russell says:

    Admin, just a suggestion; date in your post should have read “Jan 2021” not 2020. Maybe scrutinise copy a little more just before posting. No need to put this up on comments. (I’m guilty. Often use full stops where I mean comma.) Please leave this off comments section unless I’ve enraged you, …er… joke.

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      I was an editor of a scientific journal for 20 years, so I am pleased when someone stops me looking like a dill!

    • Arthur Baker says:

      Quiet rite, Russsel, numbres is improtant. Plus youse should all ways proffread to esnure corect speling adn granma, adn cheque that you hav’ent any wrods out.

      • admin says:

        Arthur,
        You shouldn’t type after you’ve had a few sherbets!

      • Jon says:

        Numbers, accuracy etc are only important if you get caught Russell. Even then it makes sfa difference to certain demographics in some supposedly educated and “religious” societies eg Republican America and Morrison’s “Christian” government. Angus Taylor wasn’t forced to resign after someone in his office “amended” a document for solely political purposes and his helpful assistant Josh Manuata was subsequently given the prime job as Director of the Canberra Liberals, where his creativity was apparently in great demand . Taylor no doubt argued that he was following Morrison ministerial standards to the letter, and unsurprisingly the politically-tainted AFP wasn’t able to determine who forged said document. The rot might start at the head but it quickly spreads. As Simon Birmingham opined recently – lying and corruption is perfectly okay if you get re-elected.

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