Thursday 29th of July 2021

vax for older lab-rats...





















The nation’s chief medical experts say a second dose of AstraZeneca is safe, reassuring Australians after the federal government’s abrupt move to raise the age limit for the shot to 60.

They have expressly ruled out giving people the option to “mix and match” one dose of AstraZeneca and a second dose of Pfizer, saying there is little evidence that it would be effective or safe, and could actually lead to more adverse symptoms.

“AstraZeneca remains a very effective vaccine,” chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said on Thursday after the federal government updated its advice following a handful of cases of blood clots in people who have received the vaccine.


“The benefit of AstraZeneca in the over 60s remains much higher than the risk of this particularly rare but sometimes serious syndrome.”

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the nation’s expert panel on vaccines, recommended on Thursday to raise the age cutoff for AstraZeneca to 60, from the current 50. It came a week after a second Australian, a 52-year-old woman, died following rare complications after receiving the AstraZeneca shot.


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history 7th-scomo-revised...

Experts have accused the federal government of “revising history” by describing the current national Covid aged care plan as the “7th edition” when no prior editions of the document exist.

The aged care royal commission in October 2020 criticised the Coalition for failing to establish a dedicated plan on how to deal with the virus in aged care and recommended it take “immediate action” to “publish a national aged care plan for Covid-19”.


The aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, at the time insisted the government did have a plan that it had “been continuously building and adapting … since January 2020”.

In late November 2020, the government published a document titled “Updated National Covid-19 Aged Care Plan (7th Edition)”.

Using freedom of information laws, Guardian Australia asked for the six previous editions of the plan. The health department in response said the term “7th edition” actually referred to “the government’s 7th stage of endorsing or providing response/guidance for Covid-19 in aged care”.


It pointed to a variety of documents that preceded the dedicated aged care plan, including Australia’s broader Covid-19 initial response plan, procurement guidelines to help aged care staff order personal protective equipment, and three versions of a guideline document for aged care providers on how to manage outbreaks, which were produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA).

Prof Joseph Ibrahim of Monash University, an expert in geriatric medicine, said the FOI showed there was no dedicated national aged care plan prior to the “7th edition”.

“There wasn’t a plan for how you would manage the 2,700 aged care facilities, which is where the highest risk population was,” he said.


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cancel your fun...

Sydneysiders are staring down a worrying coronavirus outbreak, with the NSW Premier telling people in affected areas to cancel their plans in case they end up as close contacts of a diagnosed case.

NSW Health expects to upgrade some exposure sites from casual to close contact as it tackles fears the virus is spreading between people who have had only minimal contact.

“If you are a casual contact please don’t go anywhere, cancel
your plans,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.


“Health might say in the next few hours you are a close contact – and we don’t want you and your family and loved ones disappointed … the people you have come into contact with will have to spend two weeks at home. We don’t want people to go through that.”

  • The growing list of exposure sites can be found here.

NSW confirmed one new local case on Friday, a man in his 50s who tested positive after “fleeting” contact with an infected shopper at Bondi Junction in Sydney’s east.


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vax targets...


As Victorians head back into lockdown, the slow pace of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign has again been thrust into the spotlight .


“If more people were vaccinated, we might be facing a very different set of circumstances than we are today,” Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters on Thursday.


The rollout has suffered multiple setbacks, including disruptions to global supply, delays in local production and unreliable distribution from the Commonwealth to the states and GPs.


Even before the AstraZeneca shakeup in April threw the entire strategy into disarray, Australia’s vaccine rollout had fallen short of every target. 


“We don’t want to make promises that we can’t keep. That is incredibly important,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured Australians in January.


In the three months since the official launch of the vaccine campaign on February 22, the government has announced more than a dozen targets, revisions or updates to the rollout plan. 


If you’re having trouble keeping up, chances are you’re not alone.


So when can Australians expect to be vaccinated against COVID-19? We’ve tracked the twists and turns. Here’s how Australia’s rollout timetable has changed since the first targets were announced in January.


Target: 80k doses by Mar 1, 2021Target: 4M doses by Mar 31, 2021Target: 4M doses by Apr 10, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Target: 4M doses by Apr 15, 2021Target: 60k doses by Feb 28, 2021Target: 1.05M doses by Apr 4, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Retracted target: 4M dosesby Apr 15, 2021Retracted target: 40M dosesby Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Retracted target: 40M dosesby Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Dec 12, 2021Target: 40M doses by Jan 23, 2022Target: 6M doses by May 10, 2021Target: 40M doses by Dec 31, 2021Target: 14M doses by Jun 30, 2021Target: 20M doses by Oct 31, 2021Retracted target: 20M dosesby Oct 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Dec 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Dec 31, 2021Retracted target: 40M dosesby Dec 31, 2021Retracted target: 20M dosesby Dec 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Dec 31, 2021Target: 20M doses by Dec 31, 2021Target: 40M doses by Jan 31, 2022Target: 40M doses by Jan 7, 2022Target: 20M doses by Dec 31, 2021Retracted target: 40M dosesby Dec 31, 2021Target: Between 20M and 40M doses by Oct 31, 2021Target: 20m doses many months either side of Dec 31, 2021

130k doses given as of Mar 11, 2021


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daddy's army...


What a reflection this is on the  standing of the Australian Public Service and the Morrison Governments lack of interest in a robust and well functioning civil society. We invariably turn to the military.

The Morrison government passed the buck to the states for Covid quarantine despite the fact that quarantine is a clear Commonwealth responsibility and has been so since Federation.  With their skill and experience in delivering services, the States did well in quarantine despite the Commonwealth government’s abdication of responsibility and unwillingness to establish stand-alone and remote quarantine facilities.

Concerned that the states were getting the political kudos for handling quarantine , the Morrison Government determined that it was going to lead the way in the rollout of vaccines.  But we know now that the rollout has been seriously bungled.  So the Government appointed Lt.Gen John Frewen to try to retrieve the vaccine rollout confusion.

Instead of facing up to the  debasing of the  Australian Public Service through out sourcing and under funding, the government lets the APS languish and then turns to the military. As Professor Seebeck of the ANU put it recently ‘It’s worrying when the government, under pressure,almost reflexively reaches for a military officer to help resolve messy, complex and conflicted policy matters-matters that are inherently political in nature’

Public occasions are invariably backgrounded by numerous flags with military uniforms on display.

Our poorly funded fire fighters now have to call on the military.

We have a government boasting that it has plans for Australia to become one of the top 10 worlds arms suppliers. This is at the same time as we have announced dramatic cuts in our humanitarian aid program that saves lives. We are to export more military equipment to kill and maim. Our allies like the Saudis and the UAE welcome our support as they inflict terrible suffering on the people of Yemen. Even a retired Australian general served the UAE military.

When we arrive at our airports we see our Australian Border Force decked out in military-style black uniforms. They intentionally look part of the Australian Defence Force instead of Customs and Immigration officers. There is clearly a message being conveyed. We need to act more like the military. The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs beats the drums for war over Taiwan.

The government runs many scare campaigns not just about the China threat but in recent years about ‘illegal’ asylum seekers and terrorists. The language is clear, we are at war with asylum seekers in their rickety boats. Scott Morrison described Operation Sovereign Borders run by the Navy as a ‘military-led border security operation’. He adds that the battle against people-smugglers ‘is being fought using the full arsenal of measures’. Peter Dutton tells us that a military look-alike called Border Force is more important than ever.

Many of us had hoped that at last, we were putting to an end the appointment of the Australian military as vice-regal representatives in Australia. But we are back-tracking on that with the two latest Governors General being army generals. The military is the norm.

Our aid programs have been progressively militarised. AIDWATCH has reported that our ‘military forces manipulate humanitarian aid in order to achieve tactical and political objectives. While the military can play an important role in the immediate aftermath of a humanitarian crisis, researchers have found that militarised aid is not effective and can cause harm to local communities and aid workers’.

The militarisation of Australia and our conditioning was most evident in the extravagant celebration of the Centenary of the Gallipoli invasion and WWI. The Australian War Memorial orchestrated a well-funded campaign across the country, including schools, to depict WWI as the starting point of our history, our coming of age. Our media loved it. The AWM celebrates war by accepting generous funding from arms suppliers, the ‘agents of death’ as Pope Francis calls them. It is grotesque that the AWM accepts money and sponsorship from arms suppliers. The agents of death are well and truly within the citadel. They even fund the Invictus Games, the same people that produce the weapons to maim and kill. Don’t we care?

And then the government agrees, with the complicity of the ALP to fund another $500 m for the ego trip of a former Director of the AWM. There was widespread civil opposition to this $500 m aggrandisement of the AWM  but that was all pushed aside. The military view won out.

Our foreign policy has now become subjected to our military dependence on the US. We are at the beck and call of the US military, regardless of our own interests. With interoperability of equipment and personnel we are locked into the US war machine. We are dragooned time and time again into US military disasters– Vietnam, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. We have ceded our sovereignty to the US government and its controlling military elites.

There is great danger that the militarisation of Australian history and our ready acceptance of the military as the accepted norm will lead us to more and more tragedy. We used to believe that committing our country to war was the most serious thing that any government could ever do. That is no more. We go to war without even the Australian parliament being consulted. And the ALP concurs.

Henry Reynolds in this blog ‘Militarism marches on’, warned us ‘The threshold Australian governments need to cross in order to send forces overseas is perilously low. Because there has never been an assessment of why Australia has been so often involved in war, young people must get the impression that war is a natural and inescapable part of national life. It is what we do and we are good at it. We ‘punch above our weight’. War is treated as though it provides the venue and the occasion for Australian heroism and martial virtuosity. While there is much talk of dying, or more commonly of sacrifice, there is little mention of killing and never any assessment of the carnage visited on distant countries in our name.’

Blink and we miss another military festival in Australia. Are there so few civic achievements to be proud of?

Militarism is becoming more and more pervasive. We have been sleep-walking in dangerous territory, ever since the Frontier Wars which we try and hide from view.

We avoid the truth about our military today by telling ourselves that war crimes are due to a few bad apples. Military commanders tell us they did not know about war crimes in Afghanistan. But why did they not know? We need a Royal Commission to find out. Instead our media together with the military cooperate to run the issue into the ground and those responsible, including the politicians avoid responsibility for their crimes, as in Iraq.

Militarisation has become an increasingly dangerous norm. We need a civil revival.


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miraculous insulting jab...

Australians have condemned a government commercial which shows a young woman in hospital desperately trying to breathe as a warning to get vaccinated, with many pointing out that those in her age group cannot yet book a jab. 

The graphic ad, which is set to run in Sydney – the largest city in Australia, and the one hit hardest by Covid – shows the woman panting with tears in her eyes as she is hooked up to a respirator in hospital.“Covid-19 can affect anyone. Stay home. Get tested. Book your vaccination,” the ad concludes.

Many Australians were quick to criticize what they deemed to be an inappropriate government ad, given Prime Minister Scott Morrison's failure to secure enough Covid-19 vaccines for the entire population, and recent coronavirus blunders.

“Completely offensive to run an ad like this when Australians in this age group are still waiting for their bloody vaccinations,” protested 10 News First’s National Affairs Editor Hugh Riminton, while Guardian Australia’s Associate News Editor Josephine Tovey called the ad an “insult.”





Read from top. Gus thinks that Tony Abbott was the worse Australian health minister (for being devious) but Greg Hunt is on the way to join him at the bottom (for being incompetent)... see also: miraculous ministers...



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