On June 28, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advocated that people under 60 should get the AstraZeneca vaccine, simply in an attempt to make the vaccine ‘strollout’ look like less of a shemozzle. As is common with most of those in government, the cost to the general populace is immaterial if Morrison believes that some benefit can accrue to him. His advocacy went against the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) who have stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to people over 60, unless otherwise necessary1.
In recent days, two people in their 40s have died after receiving their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine; a Victorian woman of 48 and a Tasmanian man of 44. This brings to 5 the number of dead in Australia from thrombosis with thrombocytopaenia syndrome (TTS) and all are linked to their receipt of the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine2.
Morrison responded when asked about this by saying that he felt for the families, but added “We’re all responsible for our own health, and when it comes to informed consent and giving consent to whatever treatment or procedure you may have, or I may have, then I am ultimately responsible for what people do in their health treatment to me.” Then in an attempt to absolve himself of any responsibility, he followed this with “The AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the TGA for people above the age of 18, but there is an informed consent process.”3 Of course, when Morrison was vaccinated earlier this year, he was given the Pfizer vaccine.
Whatever he does, and whatever he says, are solely for his benefit, including the word salads he utters. If something goes wrong because of his actions or lack of them, it is always someone else who is to blame. Morrison shifts blame like no politician I have ever seen before, except for Donald Trump. Perhaps that is telling.