Macarthur MP says vaccine will protect community in light of Campbelltown anti-vax event

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

Macarthur MP Dr Mike Freelander said locals should feel "extremely confident" about the quality and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This comes as local anti-vaccine and anti-Covid-19 restriction activists plan A Stand in the Park event at Campbelltown's Koshigaya Park.

The A Stand in the Park Facebook page says the events, which will be held on Sundays from 10am to 11am in parks across Australia, were not protests but a part of a 'lawful rebellion'.

Dr Freelander encouraged all local residents to take up the vaccination when they become eligible.

"Our Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is staffed by independent experts; some of the best minds in medical science in fact," he said.

"The TGA has undertaken a rigorous assessment of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, both have met the highest of standards, and I am pleased that the rollout will soon be taking place."

The NSW Health website states that the Covid-19 vaccines have undergone a 'vigorous assessment and approval process' before becoming available.

"The Australian Government is following rigorous regulatory procedures to ensure that any vaccines supplied in Australia are effective and safe for use," the website states.

"None of the vaccines currently provisionally approved or being reviewed for use in Australia contain a live virus that can cause Covid-19.

"This means that the Covid-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with Covid-19."

NSW Health has also listed the temporary side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine as pain or redness at the injection site, mild to moderate fever, tiredness, headache, muscle aches and chills.

"These side effects may be more common after the second dose," the website states.

"A small number of people may have more severe side effects-defined as side effects affecting a person's ability to do their normal daily activities.

"These side effects usually only last a day or two after getting the vaccine. Monitoring of vaccine-related side effects will continue after a Covid-19 vaccine has been registered."

Dr Freelander said immunisation and vaccination had saved many millions of lives in the 20th and 21st centuries, and would continue to do so.

"Diseases such as polio and smallpox have been virtually eradicated with thanks to immunisation efforts and advancements in medical technologies; as such I will continue to take advice from independent medical experts, rather than conspiracy theorists online," he said.

"I have seen a dramatic reduction in deaths and disability caused by common childhood illnesses such a measles and chickenpox, in my working career as a paediatrician.

"I have seen vaccination virtually eradicate bacterial meningitis, a dreadful disease that I have seen cause a number of deaths and severe disability."

Dr Freelander said the choice to vaccinate was for him, 'a deeply personal issue'.

"I will be getting my Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible and I would encourage all Australians to do so," he said.

"Whilst I do recognise that people have a right to decide what medical treatments they receive, I would encourage everyone to be immunised for Covid-19 so that we can do our bit to protect the entire community."