Health experts have slammed Senator Pauline Hanson for making false claims about vaccines before bizarrely stating it was a person’s right to choose to catch Covid-19 and die.
Speaking to Sky News on Monday, Senator Hanson claimed the Covid-19 vaccines had “not been properly tested”, and the government was using lockdowns as a “bullying tactic” to coerce people into getting the jab.
Senator Hanson pushed back hard against the suggestion of compulsory vaccination mandates in Australian businesses, saying workers should have the right to choose and things should be opened back up by December.
“Give them the opportunity to make sure the vaccine is there for people to have it, but you’ve got to have an end date to all this and I’m saying the first of December,” she said.
“Give people the opportunity, have the vaccines, and if people like myself who hasn’t had the vaccine, then I get Covid-19 and I died from it, that’s my choice.”
Former deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth slammed Senator Hanson’s claims, telling NCA NewsWire that the Covid-19 vaccine was “probably the most thoroughly tested vaccine of all time”.
“There were absolutely no shortcuts in the process of developing this vaccine,” Dr Coatsworth said.
“The fact that we developed (the vaccine) in world record time doesn’t mean we ran the race any differently … it was exactly the same process for development as all vaccines.”
Dr Coatsworth noted that while Senator Hanson was free to reflect the “plurality of views” within society, she had a responsibility to refer and direct people to credible sources of information.
“Be open to hearing from expert voices,” he said.
“That’s the responsibility of politicians. Sure, raise the question, but also be open to the answer when it’s provided.”
Dr Coatsworth sentiments were echoed by Infectious Diseases expert Peter Collignon, who told NCA NewsWire that based on the scientific data, Australians would be far better off getting the vaccine than not.
“The benefits so far outweigh the risks. It would be a really bad idea not to get vaccinated,” Professor Collignon said.