Culture

Clive Palmer Is Distributing Anti-vaxx Propaganda In Regional NSW’s Vulnerable Communities

The flyers falsely claim 300 Australians have died from COVID-19 vaccines.

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Clive Palmer has been on a national anti-vaccination campaign for months and his propaganda flyers have reached vulnerable communities in regional NSW.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Palmer’s flyers have reached Residents of Broken Hill and surrounding communities, including mayor Darriea Turley. Residents said they received flyers in the mail, while some were also distributed via ALDI catalogues.

Broken Hill and the surrounding Far West region has a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. At 11.2 per cent, it is nearly four times the national average. Palmer’s anti-vaccine flyers have reached other regional areas such as Bathurst, which also has a higher than average Indigenous population of 5.4 per cent. The flyers have also been delivered to multiple Sydney suburbs during the current COVID outbreak.

To distribute such flyers among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities when they have just become eligible for the jab is deeply irresponsible. Especially when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are on average far more vulnerable to health risks than non-Indigenous Australians.

The bright yellow flyers left in people’s junk mail apparently read, “URGENT COMMUNICATION – open sealed section to view!”. Inside, the flyers contained numerous pieces of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, including that more than 300 people who have had the vaccine have died in Australia.

The figure is false, based on a misinterpreted figure provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The THG collected data about the deaths of people who were recently vaccinated. In the vast majority of cases, the death is entirely unrelated to the vaccine.

As of July 15, the TGA said it had reviewed 377 reports of deaths in people who were recently vaccinated.  Of these, only four were linked to immunisation. All related to rare complications from the first AstraZeneca doses, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The TGA says Palmer’s campaign  “poses an unacceptable threat to the health of Australians”.

Clive Palmer must be stopped from endangering Australians with misinformation. In the meantime, all adult Indigenous Australians are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under the current rollout and are encouraged by NSW Health to get it as soon as possible.