Australia’s drugs regulator blasted a One Nation senator for “dangerous and incorrect” suggestions regarding coronavirus vaccine-related deaths.
Therapeutic Goods Administration boss John Skerritt confirmed on Wednesday that nine deaths were linked to vaccines in Australia during the deployment.
Over 34.6 million doses have been administered nationwide.
Professor Skerritt told One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts he was wrong to claim that more than 500 people have died from COVID vaccines.
“It is completely incorrect and indeed quite dangerous to assert that more than 500 people have died as a result of COVID vaccination,” he said during a hearing on the Senate estimates.
Senator Roberts also suggested that doctors were under pressure not to report side effects from vaccinations.
“This is hogwash, senator,” said Professor Skerritt.
“I haven’t heard of any cases of doctors being pressured not to report.”
The TGA boss said public hospitals are required to report any adverse event potentially related to vaccines.
Fair Labor Commission vice-chairman Lyndall Dean was criticized in a separate hearing on the estimates for accepting a social media post comparing the western world’s pandemic response to totalitarianism and the Holocaust.
Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash said she disagreed with the comments and would seek advice from the commission chairman.
The message came from Tania de Jong, a Melbourne-based “spiritual traveler”.
She shared an image showing two Jews wearing stars on their coats with hashtags including “Holocaust”, “warrants” and “totalitarianism.”
“The Western world has already faced many seasonal respiratory pandemics, but we have never responded by embracing all the traps of totalitarianism fueled by irrationality and fear,” the post said.
“We have imported Chinese-style totalitarian social control mechanisms based on very selective science, and many strategists say they welcome the rapid unraveling of our democratic values.”
Ms Dean commented on the post using her professional LinkedIn account, writing: “I totally agree with Tania.”
The acting director general of the Fair Work Commission, Murray Furlong, confirmed that he had seen a copy of the message filed during the hearing.
The commission’s code of conduct tells members not to identify themselves on social media as commission members.
It also states that members should avoid getting involved in or “liking” social media about controversies that might be brought before the committee.
Last month, Ms Dean warned of a “medical apartheid” over vaccination warrants in a dissenting judgment defending an elderly healthcare worker sacked.
She has since disqualified herself for bias in resolving vaccine disputes and must undergo training.
The chairman of the commission also wrote to Ms Dean on this matter and sent a copy of the correspondence to the relevant minister.