Pauline Hanson, the Senator for Queensland, Australia recently posted a video on her Facebook page claiming that she will not take a Coronavirus vaccine because she feared that it would be 'inadequately tested,' soon after Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed a deal to buy a vaccine once it is approved.
The leader of One Nation, a right-wing populist political party, also claimed that the government has inflated the Coronavirus death toll by including people who died from underlying conditions. But Australia health officials accused the senator of peddling conspiracy theories.
It Is 'Inaccurate and Insensitive'
Senator Paulin, who was convicted of electoral fraud in 2003 and given a three-year sentence but was released after 11 weeks on appeal, in a Facebook video said that "COVID-19 is a virus, I understand, but when you falsify the deaths of people that say they died of COVID when they actually died of other underlying issues... to put a vaccine into my body that hasn't been tested is not happening."
A spokesperson from the Department of Health said it "rigorously assesses vaccines for safety, quality, and effectiveness" and the conspiracies about untested Coronavirus vaccines are baseless. Regarding the claims made by Hanson about the deceased people, the spokesman said this was insult to the families who have lost loved ones due to the Coronavirus.
As per the spokesman, conspiracy theories and misinformation regarding those who have died of the Coronavirus caused disease are "inaccurate and insensitive." The Australian government explains a Coronavirus fatality as a death in a probable or confirmed case unless there is a confirmed alternative cause that cannot be related. The final attribution of the COVID-19 to someone's death, whether the virus is the primary or underlying cause, is given by a doctor or a coroner for the death certificate.
The Viral Video
The Facebook video, which was posted by Hanson on Wednesday, August 19, has received 36,000 likes, 16,000 comments, and 24,000 shares as of now. The video was shared on the social media site soon after Prime Minister Morrison said he would make a vaccine "as mandatory as possible".
Hanson, who shot the video in her garden in Scenic Rim, Queensland said the jab should be optional. In the video, she said, "I'm quite angry because you have no right to say that I have to have this vaccination because I tell you what, I won't be having it... you will not force me to have it. It will be my choice what I do. So what's going to be your choice?"
Prime Minister Morrison on Tuesday, August 18 agreed to buy a Coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca once it is approved, which could be late this year. The vaccine is already in phase three trails on thousands of people in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil.
As per the researchers, the vaccine is showing positive results. Even though Prime Minister Morrison said he wanted the vaccine to be "as mandatory as possible," later he clarified that it would not be forced on anyone.
He told Sydney radio station 2GB, "It is not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine... there are no compulsory vaccines in Australia. No one is going to force anybody to do anything as a compulsory measure, but we certainly will encourage people to take this up."