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The vaccine roll out: Politics and science in conflict

The vaccine roll out in Australia has lagged behind other parts of the world

Morrison has lost control and credibility. Incompetent State premiers and their medical acolytes are driving this farce. It won’t last forever – the public is increasingly seeing the light.

Do you remember high school science?  The sort where you put as much salt as you could in a beaker of hot water, added a bit of colouring and watched a crystal grow around a suspended string?  Do you remember your own learnings when you tried to liven up a campfire by throwing petrol on it (hint – the fire jumped right back out at you)?  Simple paths of conditions, cause and effect, this is simple science.

But do you remember the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, which killed seven astronauts including a school teacher?  That was science too.  Or perhaps, as seems increasingly likely, the escape of a genetically engineered virus from a lab in Wuhan.  More science, but without achieving the expected outcome.

And now every day we have politicians telling us to “trust the science”.  Which science is that?  It’s certainly not the simple sort, and if it’s the science of unexpected outcomes, then no one is saying.  Perhaps it’s political science.

Simplifying the complexities of Covid-19 into the number of daily cases, and basing policies on that is disgraceful.  Currently, 11 million people are locked down in Australia, but there is no measurement of the personal hardship, the mental health issues, or the physical health issues due to people not being able to get timely treatment for other things.  Frankly, this can only be the construct of people for whom the concept of leadership is foreign, and who bear no responsibility for the damage and cost of botched vaccine roll-outs, and the capricious dictates of unaccountable health bureaucrats.  For them, the Delta variant is a godsend – more fear and uncertainty; another useful tool by which to exercise power.  It’s been obvious for a while – in Queensland, since Labour Day last year.

The facts are missing in action.  Janette Young insisted she didn’t want under 40’s to have the Astra Zeneca (AZ) Vaccine because “I don’t want an 18 year old in Queensland dying from a clotting illness who if they got Covid-19, probably wouldn’t die”.  What is the chance of getting a blood clot from the AZ vaccine?  It’s 5 in a million doses.  The chance of dying from an AZ induced blood clot?  At 0.6 in a million vaccinations, that also sounds like a recipient “probably wouldn’t die”.  What is the chance of getting a blood clot from Covid-19 itself?  39 in a million cases.  The chance of dying from Covid-19 in Australia – 38 in a million people.  If Covid-19 is genuinely serious and if you are otherwise healthy, it looks to me like you’re much better off with AZ than Covid-19.  In which case, and given CSL manufactures the stuff locally, we should have had almost the whole population vaccinated by now.  The scientist developers of AZ got a standing ovation at Wimbledon.  Rightly so – the UK statistics directedly reflect the vaccination take up, and that country is now out on the streets.

What of broader comparisons?  The chance of a blood clot from the contraceptive pill?  400 in a million or 10 times AZ.  Seems like some things you just can’t go without.  Car crashes – 44 deaths and 156 hospitalisations per million people.  But it’s always someone else’s fault right?  Suicide for all its taboo – 138 deaths in a million.  Deaths from oral polio vaccine (incidentally, the best medicine you’ll ever taste) – 3 per million which is five times the risk of an AZ blood clot.  But still, the bureaucrats say AZ is too risky.  Not too risky to send what are now surplus supplies to PNG it seems.

Bureaucrats also say they are managing their recommendations according to risk benefit analysis.  Stupidly, they are attempting to risk weigh something with 100 per cent certainty.  That or they do not believe Covid-19 is really that dangerous.  Despite the evidence, they put great store in the ability of government to control outbreaks, even when we deliberately allow people with Covid-19 to fly in.  They assume our society is homogenous, when it is not.  They ignore the fact that large numbers of immigrants are not fluent in English and do not care for Western medicine.  But we can’t say they because it might be construed as racist, even if lives could be saved.  Since day one it’s been reported that young people don’t get too sick from Covid-19 – but now we’re told they all need to be vaccinated.  And do you know that employers cannot insist that employees are vaccinated unless it is an original condition of employment?  So here we are still with unvaccinated people working in hospitals and aged care facilities, right in front of aged and ill people.

Morrison has lost control and credibility.  Incompetent State premiers and their medical acolytes are driving this farce.  It won’t last forever – the public is increasingly seeing the light.

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Originally Published – Thursday, 22 July, 2021
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