Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 07/01/2022
Several websites have published an incorrect claim that the Australian government has acknowledged a widespread of severe reactions to vaccines against Covid-19, citing a number of 79,000 severe side effects. This is the total number of reported reactions to vaccines, most of which are harmless.
On the website Nulta tacka, on January 3, 2022, an article was published featuring the following title:
AUSTRALIA RECOGNIZES A WIDESPREAD OF SERIOUS ADVERSE REACTIONS TO COVID VACCINE, OFFERS PAYMENT TO COMPENSATION TO VICTIMS
The text claims that the Australian government “admitted” that the vaccines against Covid-19 caused tens of thousands of side effects, without specifying what the reactions were, and that it offered monetary compensation to some “victims”.
According to some reports, the Australian government has acknowledged that the COVID-19 vaccine has caused tens of thousands of side effects and is offering monetary compensation to some victims.
The following text, however, claims that 7News reported that 79,000 people in the country suffered from “severe side effects” of the Covid-19 vaccine:
7News Australia reported on Friday that as many as 79,000 people have suffered from severe side effects from COVID vaccines, and the government is ready to set aside over 600,000 dollars in compensation for some victims.
This claim is based on a tweet taken from a profile of New Granada, which was published in this article, and which contains a video of a report from the channel 7News Australia. However, unlike the article on Nulta tacka, which mentions 79,000 “severe side effects” of vaccines, the video states that a total of 79,000 side effects were recorded in Australia, and not that there were so many severe side effects. This is actually stated in the text itself, in the part where the statement of the reporter from the recording is quoted:
“It is estimated that 79,000 people have suffered adverse reactions to vaccines. Now the government is offering compensation. Claims below $20,000 will require proof from your doctor. Claims over $20,000 require an estimate from a team of legal experts”. The report states that “the highest figure is reserved only for the most difficult cases”.
Identical texts were published by Civijas radio, Ayurmed and Srbin (info). The claim that “79,000 severe side effects of the vaccine” have been reported in Australia was also published on Facebook. The post on the profile of Pasa Azric, from January 4, 2022, which, in addition to the claim, also contained a translated video of the 7News television report, recorded over 200 interactions, and the video had over 2,000 views.
What are the facts?
The source of the claim about 79,000 “severe side effects” of vaccination in Australia is the text published on January 2, 2022, on InfoWars, a website known for publishing fake news and promoting “conspiracy” narratives.
The report of 7News Australia was published on the YouTube channel of this television on December 29, 2021. Unlike the article on InfoWars, the report did not state that 79,000 reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine were “severe”. It states that the federal government in Australia is offering monetary compensation to patients who have experienced certain side effects after receiving the vaccine.
The website of the Ministry of Health of Australia states that there is a plan to claim monetary compensation for people who experienced moderate or significant adverse reactions to one of the vaccines approved by the local drug agency (Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna).
The Australian government is implementing a plan for people who experienced moderate to significant adverse reactions to TGA-approved Covid-19 vaccines.
Adverse reactions believed to be due to Covid-19 vaccination, which this plan will cover, include anaphylactic reaction, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, myocarditis, pericarditis, capillary leakage syndrome, disorders such as Guillain Barre syndrome and others. For claims of up to $20,000 in compensation, the patient must provide documentation confirming the reaction and possible connection to the vaccination, proof of at least one night spent in hospital, treatment costs and lost earnings due to the condition.
For claims over $20,000 (including deaths) the rules are defined later and can be found at this link (Tier 2 and Tier 3 claims).
A report by 7News television tells the story of Matty John, who two days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine felt “like he was having a heart attack”, after which he was diagnosed with severe pericarditis. However, due to the fact that despite two hospitalizations during this condition, he did not “spend the night” in the hospital, he cannot claim compensation from the government.
The report states that 79,000 people reported a certain side effect to the vaccine, but not that the same number of people had serious side effects. The video published in the article shows that the reporter states in the introduction that only “a few” vaccinated people experienced severe side effects.
Although the report was published in late December, its data correspond to the weekly report of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), published on November 11, 2021. Namely, as of November 7, the total number of reported reactions to all three vaccines was close to 79,000 (78,880) per over 36 million administered doses of vaccines (36,773,837).
The report states that the most commonly reported reactions include pain at the sting site, headache, muscle pain, and fever. Among the serious reported reactions to the vaccine, 288 cases of myocarditis are suspected to be associated with Pfizer (22.7 million doses administered to date) and 160 cases of thrombosis syndrome with thrombocytopenia are suspected of being associated with AstraZeneca vaccine (13.2 million doses administered to date).
So, from this review and the television report itself, it is clear that the number of 79,000 reported reactions includes all reactions after the vaccine, among which the most common are the less serious ones. Of this total, less than 450 cases are thought to be serious reactions.
Therefore, the statement in the title of Nulta tacka’s article, claiming that the Australian government “recognizes the widespread of severe adverse reactions from covid vaccines”, is not correct, given that there are no widespread severe reactions.
This and other analyzed articles contain accurately transcribed parts of a television report that mentions a total of 79,000 reported adverse reactions but also contain a factually incorrect claim that these are severe reactions.
According to the facts, the claim suggesting that “7News Australia reported that as many as 79,000 people suffered from severe side effects from the COVID vaccine” is considered disinformation. The same rating is given to the claim regarding the widespread prevalence of “severe adverse reactions to the vaccine” – although serious vaccine reactions have been reported, they are not “widespread” in Australia.