COVID Questions submitted to federal Department of Health

 In Coronavirus, Health, Parliament

I submitted the following Questions on Notice to the federal Department of Health during the most recent Senate Estimates. I’ll update this page with their response and answers when I receive them:

1. Why can’t rapid testing be used at aged care centres, hospitals etc. for entering workers to try and reduce outbreaks of COVID-19?

2. Was it wise for the Labor Opposition to compromise safety by putting pressure on the TGA to roll out the vaccine before the TGA approved it?

3. Given Swine Flu had a median death rate of 48 and Covid has a median death rate of around 80 plus, why are governments reacting differently now to how they reacted to Swine Flu in 2009 regarding lockdowns, quarantining and vaccinations?

4. Should deaths when people had comorbidities be counted as COVID-19 deaths or comorbidities? I note the Health Department in my prior QoN quoted 91% of people who died from COVID-19 in ICU had comorbidities and a median age of 86.

5. Does mask prevention depend on the quality of mask? If so, which masks should or should not be used?

6. Has the Australian Red Cross taken serology tests on blood taken in Q4 2019 to determine if Covid was in the community at that time?

7. What percentage of the population need to be vaccinated before state governments stop closing borders and locking down residents? i.e. what percentage would achieve herd immunity?

8. What is the normal number of trials a drug or vaccine have to go through before being approved for use? i.e. Phase 1 trials, Phase 2 etc.

9. Has the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines gone through the standard testing or have they been fast tracked?

10. If fast tracked, what testing was avoided?

11. When did testing on these vaccines begin?

12. The Pfizer vaccine is a mRNA vaccine that delivers a genetic code to produce a spike protein and the AstraZeneca vaccine is a recombinant vaccine that puts the code for the spike protein into a complete different virus, both with the aim of stimulating an immune response. Is this correct?

13. How long have these methods been used for therapeutic purposes?

14. The original form of the influenza vaccine developed in the 1960s and still in widespread use delivered the whole virus (rather than just a spike protein), which has been weakened or killed, and then allowed the body to recognise and respond to it. Is this correct?

15. The traditional vaccines given for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox etc. contain a weakened version of a germ that causes a disease. Is it correct that the mRNA and AZ vaccines use different methods than those vaccines that most people get as a child?

16. How long are the vaccines effective for? Could studies please be cited?

17. Will the population need to be revaccinated on a regular basis?

18. If so, how often?

19. To what percentage do vaccines stop transmission? Could studies please be cited.

20. To what extent has new variants reduced vaccine efficacy?

21. Has testing of the vaccine be performed on people with arrhythmia or hemolysis? If not, given the clotting that’s occurring, would it be wise to do so?

22. In the TGA’s reporting of vaccines, 210 died after receiving the vaccine. What did these people die from – the vaccine or other comorbidities?

23. Has a causal relationship been established as to what these people died from?

24. If they died of comorbidities, why is the TGA excluding them from deaths related to the vaccine given the common practice of reporting people dying with COVID-19 as though they died from Covid?

25. When it comes to comparing deaths from vaccines to a background death rate of the entire population, shouldn’t the bar be higher for vaccines to ensure that a causal relationship is established

26. Are the adverse reactions recorded by the TGA reported on a voluntary basis? Will they include all reactions or only those reported?

27. Have the vaccines received full approval or provisional approval? If the latter, what is the difference?

28. Is the TGA considering allowing two difference vaccines to be used simultaneously? Has sufficient testing been performed to allow this?

29. Why doesn’t the Australian Government hold pharmaceutical companies liable for their vaccines? If the vaccines are safe, then why is their liability waived? Most companies who sell faulty products that aren’t safe are held liable, so why aren’t pharmaceutical companies?

30. Why are drug makers the ones who design and perform the drug testing? Isn’t this a conflict of interest? Shouldn’t an independent body who doesn’t stand to benefit financially from the drugs be the ones who do the testing?

31. Do drug companies pay foreign owned social media companies to regulate posts about vaccines?

32. Who regulates the social media companies to ensure they aren’t censoring valid information and free speech?

33. Why do some vaccines last the best part of a lifetime while the flu shot only lasts for a few months?

34. Why can’t the CSL vaccine be used given it only resulted in false positive? Assuming it has fewer side effects than other drugs, why isn’t that the key benchmark?

35. Is the AMA affiliated with the Immunisation Coalition who along with many of its members are funded by pharmaceutical companies? If so, how can the AMA remain impartial when providing advice regarding vaccines or any other drugs for that matter?

36. Given the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been stopped or paused in other countries, why should Australians feel safe getting it?

37. Why isn’t there a standardised testing protocol for COVID-19? Advice from the Health Department says, “It is a dangerous practice to try to generalise the interpretation of a pathology result across different IVDs, unless there is a formal internationally agreed reference standard for that purpose. This does not exist for SARS-COV-2 RNA detection by RT-PCR.”

38. The following link here says that, “It should be noted that PCR tests cannot distinguish between ‘live’ virus and non-infective RNA.” Does this mean the PCR tests can show positive results for viruses other than COVID-19? I also note the following comments from the WHO:

“Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 states that careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed (1). The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology. WHO reminds IVD users that disease prevalence alters the predictive value of test results; as disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases (2). This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity. Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information.”

39. Given the inexact nature of Covid testing, would it be more appropriate to report people with symptoms of COVID-19 rather than just arbitrary PCR figures that may include people who are asymptomatic? Noting the following information 1) A recent article published in The Lancet medical journal explains that PCR tests can be “positive” for up to five times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious. They explain that up to 75% of “positive” individuals are most likely post-infectious, and; 2) only 44% of the “positive” samples using a Ct of 18 returned a viable lab culture, according to Dr. Jared Bullard, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a current witness for the Manitoba government, and; 3) The PCR tests are not designed to detect and identify active infectious disease. Instead, it identifies genetic material, be it partial, alive, or even dead?

40. Given the unreliability of the PCR tests, should the number of Covid cases be used as a benchmark for shutting down states rather than say ICU cases?

41. If COVID-19 debris is found in the sewerage, does this mean Covid has been in the community and people have recovered from COVID-19 without detection?

42. Should positive Covid tests be reported by Ct (cycle threshold) number so that the severity of cases can be ascertained by the public?

43. Why did Australians trying to return to Australia from India first test positive to COVID-19 then test negative the following day? Shouldn’t there be a more accurate diagnostic tool for detecting Covid?

44. Ivermectin has been given to millions of people in recent decades and has a proven safety record. Numerous peer reviewed studies based on RCT tests have shown symptom relief and rapid reductions in mortality and hospitalisation. What steps are required in order to make Ivermectin available to those Australians who wish use it, subject to doctor-patient consultation, rather than vaccines?

45. Who can apply to get Ivermectin approved as a prophylaxis for COVID-19 in Australia?

46. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has dropped its recommendation against Ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19, and the agency now advises it can’t recommend for or against its use, leaving the decision to physicians and their patients. Why can’t Australia adopt the same approach?

47. Dr Tess Lawrie, consultant to the WHO, Robert Borody, Robert Clancy and numerous other health professionals are on record saying that Ivermectin is not only safe to use but is effective. Given these views, why does the National Covid Evidence Taskforce recommend against Ivermectin in consultation with an individual’s GP?

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