Australia’s medicines regulator has blasted a One Nation senator for ‘dangerous’ and ‘incorrect’ suggestions about deaths linked to coronavirus vaccines.
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) boss Professor John Skerritt on Wednesday confirmed nine deaths had been linked to vaccines in Australia during the rollout.
More than 34.6 million doses have been administered nationwide.
Skerritt told One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts he was factually wrong to claim that more than 500 people had died from COVID vaccines.
“It is quite incorrect and, in fact, quite dangerous to assert that over 500 people have died as a result of COVID vaccination,” he said during a Senate estimates hearing.
Roberts also suggested doctors were under pressure not to report adverse reactions to vaccinations.
“That’s rubbish, senator,” Skerritt said.
“I’ve not heard of any cases of doctors being pressured not to report.”
The TGA boss said public hospitals were compelled to report any adverse event potentially related to vaccines.
Fair Work Commission deputy president Lyndall Dean came under fire in a separate estimates committee hearing for controversial social media comments about the pandemic response.
Last month, she warned of a “medical apartheid” over vaccine mandates in a dissenting judgment defending a sacked aged care worker.
On LinkedIn, Dean agreed with a comment comparing the western world’s pandemic response to totalitarianism and the Holocaust.
Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash indicated it was the first she had heard of the post and she would seek advice from the commission president.
“I’m prepared to say to you based on what you said to me, I disagree with the comments,” she told Labor senator Louise Pratt.
The pandemic response post came from Melbourne-based “spiritual journeywoman” Tania de Jong.
She shared an image showing a Jewish couple wearing stars on their coats with hashtags including “Holocaust”, “mandates” and “totalitarianism”.
“The western world has faced many seasonal respiratory pandemics before, but we have never responded by adopting all the trappings of totalitarianism fuelled by irrationality and fear,” she wrote.
“We have imported Chinese style totalitarian social control mechanisms based upon very selective science, and many strategists assert they are delighting in the quick unravelling of our democratic values.”
Dean commented on the post using her professional LinkedIn account, writing: “I fully agree Tania”.