‘You’re not a doctor’: Karl Stefanovic calls out senator after he demanded rollout of ‘perfectly safe’ AstraZeneca vaccine be scrapped amid fears over blood clots
Phase 1B of Australia’s biggest ever vaccination program is set to be unveiled on Wednesday in the first large-scale roll out to the general public.
Six million Australians are now eligible to get their first jab, including everyone aged over-70, other healthcare workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over-55, police, army personnel and meat processing workers.
The phase will use up to 14.8million doses of mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been scrapped in several European countries amid fears it causes blood clots.
Federal senator and former cabinet minister Matt Canavan has expressed his concerns for the vaccine and stood by his comments when he was grilled by the Today show host on Wednesday morning.
The pair were discussing a new Today Show poll which revealed 5,400 Australians would refuse to have the AstraZeneca jab, more than double the 2,200 who said they would.
Today Show Karl Stefanovic (pictured) questioned Senator Matt Canavan’s stance on pressing pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout
‘I think a pause right now is the prudent path, Karl,’ the senator replied.
‘I think that approach served us well and it should be a similar approach we take right now. We’re in the lucky position of not having risk of widespread coronavirus in this country,’
Stefanovic quickly interrupted him to disagree.
‘I want to point out the obvious, you’re not a doctor Matt Canavan, most senior researchers and frontline scientists say it’s OK. Why should we stop it?’ he asked.
Senator Canavan said many doctors are still concerned about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
‘I’m concerned the registry authority are gagging our doctors,’ he said.
‘I’ve been contacted by lots of doctors concerned they can’t make statements, last week regulatory authorities told them sending out a note to doctors if you say anything undermining the national immunisation program we will remove your accreditation.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant (right) was among the first people in NSW last week to receive the controversial AstraZeneca vaccine
‘We can’t do that remove the muzzle from doctors have sensible open discussions about medical treatments in this country.’
Stefanovic backed down and agreed with the senator but still believes assurances the vaccine is safe.
‘I think you are 100% right, we saw that with some of the people we interviewed on the streets. There is a greatly varying attitudes towards this vaccine. It’s understandable,’ he said.
Liberal Senator Matt Cavanan (pictured) says his government should press pause on the rollout of the controversial vaccine