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Australia news live update: Scott Morrison gives press conference amid concerns over AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and blood clots Australia news live update: Scott Morrison gives press conference amid concerns over AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and blood clots
(32 minutes later)
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The prime minister is speaking today following the first meetings from new woman’s cabinet task force, and his announcement yesterday that a National Women’s Safety Summit will be held in July. The prime minister has been asked what he would say to someone who feels the government’s response is “actually just trying to ban flirting in the workplace?”
And sure Morrison’s response does involve yet another story about the bloody footy, but overall quite worth reading.
Morrison:
I mean the sentiment would carry more weight if his government hadn’t repeatedly dealt with sexual assault and harassment accusations so terribly though.
Morrison has been asked when we can expect to see these changes come into effect:
It’s worth remembering that it has taken the government more than a year to respond to this report, with the avalanche of alleged sexual harassment scandals in parliament in recent weeks finally pushing this to the top of the agenda.
Reporter:
Morrison:
Michaelia Cash has laid out some specific legal changes that will be made, including extending the period a victim can come forward to two years, and clarifying that sexually harassing someone is a valid grounds for dismissal:
Attorney general Michaelia Cash is unveiling the government’s response to the respect at work campaign now:
Morrison appears fairly sombre and serious today about the need for cultural change in regards to sexual harassment.
It’s worth remember last time he took this tone in a press conference he accidentally outed a false harassment scandal at News Corp in an attempt to strongarm journalists into not asking hard-hitting questions about the government’s track record in this area.
Fingers crossed it goes better this time.
Morrison says:
Morrison is now discussing the Respect at Work report from Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins:
The prime minister is speaking today following the first meeting from the new women’s cabinet taskforce, and his announcement yesterday that a National Women’s Safety Summit will be held in July.
Scott Morrison is speaking now.Scott Morrison is speaking now.
Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk has just spoken and confirmed there were no new local Covid-19 cases recorded in the state overnight.Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk has just spoken and confirmed there were no new local Covid-19 cases recorded in the state overnight.
While we wait, here is a bit more from the chief medical officer Paul Kelly from his appearance on ABC News Breakfast this morning:
We are just standing by now for the Scott Morrison press conference.
Just an observation: it’s totally understandable if you are feeling a bit anxious this morning about the AstraZeneca vaccine possibly having blood clotting as an extremely rare side effect. I know I’m a bit uncomfortable about it too.
But it’s worth keeping in mind the numbers we are talking about here.
There have been 86 blood clotting cases in Europe out of the 25 million people vaccinated with the AZ jab.
Just again in numbers: 86 out of 25,000,000.
Also just for reference here is a list of common and uncommon side effects for one of the most commonly used birth control pills, Levlen ED*.
acne
nausea
stomach pain
changes in weight
headache, including migraines
mood changes, including depression
breast tenderness or pain
hair loss or hair growth.
pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
pain or discomfort that goes to your back
breathlessness and/or difficulty breathing
swelling, pain or tenderness of one leg
sudden weakness, numbness or bad ‘pins and needles’ of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
severe, sudden stomach pains
a fainting attack or collapse
unusual headaches or migraines that are worse than usual
sudden problems with speaking, seeing or understanding what people are saying to you
Oh, and blot clotting is in there too! Here are possible signs of that happening because of the birth control pill.
jaundice (yellowing skin or yellowing eyes)
coughing up blood
breast lumps
unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Source: NPS MedicineWise.
We have just got word that Scott Morrison will hold a press conference with the new attorney-general Michaelia Cash at 9am AEDT.
I’ll bring you all the updates from that when he stands up.
A study from the Australian National University shows that young women are the most reluctant group in Australia to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
But, fortunately (or I guess maybe, unfortunately), according to their research these opinions could change depending on their level of confidence in the government.
(Wow, I wonder if the government has done anything to lose the trust of young women recently?)
The study tracked a nationally representative group of 3,030 people throughout the pandemic, analysing their attitudes toward vaccination.
Dr Diana Cardenas, who lead the study, said young women were the least willing:
ANU professor Kate Reynolds said older people were the most willing group, with more than 64% saying they would get the jab as soon as possible.
But one of the most important factors was trust in the government:
Their study show only 30% of young women aged between 18-24 said they had confidence in the federal government, compared with 47% of the rest of the population.
The WHO has released an interim statement following the EU requiring AstraZeneca to list blood clots as a possible rare side effect.
They have taken a more conservative approach, saying a link between the vaccine and blood clots with low platelets is “considered plausible but is not confirmed”.
Australia’s chief medical officer Prof Paul Kelly says issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine will be weighed up by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) and “we’ll go from there”.
Speaking on ABC radio now, he says authorities are mindful that even though possibly vaccine-related blood floating is is an “extremely rare event”, it could affect confidence in the vaccine.
Just in case you forgot, Australia’s vaccine rollout is going extremely slowly. This includes efforts to vaccinate the entire residential aged care population, which the government originally promised would be completed by the end of March.
Shadow minister for senior Australians and aged care services, Clare O’Neil, is speaking on ABC radio now, with some fairly strong words against the government’s efforts:
A government spokesperson has told AAP that Australia is considering the UK’s decision to give people aged under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine due to possible blood clot links.
The federal government has asked its immunisation advisory group and the national medicine regulator to review the findings by the EU medicines regulator which advised that blood clots should be listed as a possible but rare side-effect.
It’s likely this will be a major topic of conversation at the next national cabinet meeting with state and federal leaders.
Hello everyone, it’s already Thursday and the end is in sight! It’s Matilda Boseley here to take you through the day’s news.
The biggest news today has to be the EU’s medicines regulator declaring overnight that blood clotting should be listed as an (extremely) rare possible side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
This sounds scary but it’s important to note that EU regulators have also repeatedly stressed that the benefits continue to far outweigh any risks.
The announcement came after the EMA examined 86 blood clotting cases, 18 of which were fatal, out of some 25 million people in Europe who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Most of the cases were in women aged under 60.
A huge proportion of Australia’s vaccination rollout plan is reliant on the AZ jab, although we do have a large contract for promising Novavax doses which could be available later in the year, if approved by the TGA.
A number of nations have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for younger populations and the UK will now offer most people under 30 an alternative jab.
Australia has also had a non-fatal blood clotting case in a man aged in his 40s, with health experts saying it would be fully investigated as well as considering any research and advice coming out of the EU.
Here is what Professor Brendan Murphy said yesterday:
Big things are also happening down in Melbourne today, with Victoria’s much-maligned hotel quarantine program resuming overnight and international flights touching down for the first time in almost two months.
Some 106 returned travellers arrived at Melbourne airport from 4.30am this morning, coming from Colombo, Doha, Dubai and Singapore.
They have now gone into revamped hotel quarantine facilities, including the Holiday Inn at the airport, which was at the centre of the city last outbreak – it grew to 24 cases, triggering a statewide five-day lockdown.
After a number of reviews, the program restarted with ventilation controls in rooms and corridors and PPE requirements for staff.
Covid-19 quarantine Victoria commissioner Emma Cassar said Victorians should be confident in the third iteration of the scheme:
All hotel quarantine staff have now received at least one Pfizer dose, while the majority have also undergone N95 mask-fit testing.
As a Melbourne resident, I have my fingers crossed that the third time’s the charm!
OK, with that, let’s jump into the day’s news.
If there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or email me at matilda.boseley@theguardian.com.