"You're not a scientist": Kochie and Craig Kelly go head to head over AstraZeneca doubts
Kelly urged the government to "take the foot off the pedal a little bit" after other countries stopped using the vaccine after some recipients developed blood clots.
Kochie, however, wasn't having any of it and accused the independent MP of "undermining confidence" in the vaccination plan.
Kelly stood firm by his viewpoint.
“When it was only Norway and Denmark (who had paused the jab) only two countries, it was fair enough to continue the rollout here.
“But now when you’ve got health regulators in countries like Germany, Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, when health regulators in all those countries have looked at it and said look guys let’s just take the foot off the pedal a little bit, let’s just hold and check to make sure we’re going to err on the side of caution and apply the precautionary principle.
“That is happening in all these countries that still have very high coronavirus deaths rates, but here in Australia we have no deaths, so I think we should take the foot off the pedal a little bit.”
Kochie said that Europe's medicines regulator was "firmly convinced" that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risk of side effects.
“You’re not a scientist, the European Medicines Agency, it’s full of scientists, they’re the peak body in Europe above the German authorities and the Italian authorities and the like, and they’re saying don’t stop it,” he said.
“When we have 17,000 blood clots in Australia every year anyhow, it seems just out of whack.”
Kelly said that there are "mixed opinions" on the vaccine anyway and that he wasn't undermining confidence.
“I think actually if we show that we are erring on the side of caution, we would actually show that we are encouraging the rollout,” he argued.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kely has said that there is "no evidence" that the AstraZeneca vaccine is linked to blood clotting.
“We do expect to see blood clots at the time when we when vaccinations are given,” he said.
“But this does not mean that an event that happens after vaccination has been given is indeed due to that vaccine.
“From my perspective, I do not see that there is any specific link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, and I’m not alone in that opinion."
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