Discover more from Dystopian Down Under
'End Big Pharma vaccine indemnity': new bill tabled in Australian Parliament
United Australia Party Senator Ralph Babet introduced a bill to the Senate today which, if passed, will mark the end of carte blanche vaccine indemnity schemes for big pharmaceutical corporations in Australia.
Senator Babet says that the bill will prevent the Australian Government from granting indemnity to vaccine manufacturers, which will in turn, “limit financial and legal risk to the Commonwealth and aid in the restoration of trust in medicine.”
This announcement comes just days after it was reported that WorkCover claims for Victorian essential services workers injured by the Covid jabs (many of whom were mandated) have topped $4.37 million.
Over three thousand Australians have sought compensation from the federal Covid vaccine injury scheme, although fewer than five per cent have been paid out.
A vaccine injury class action filed in the Federal Court earlier this year with over 500 members could see the amount paid out to the injured soar to hundreds of millions of dollars. Taxpayers will foot the bill for all of these claims.
Senator Babet points out that the Federal Budget acknowledges the open-ended cost of vaccine harms.
“The Federal Budget papers for 2023-24 contain multiple, ‘unquantifiable contingent liabilities’ relating to vaccines. The unquantifiable liability stems from the fact that indemnity has been granted for Covid-19 vaccines.
“Unquantifiable put simply means that the cost of these clauses is open-ended. Taxpayers are on the hook and big pharma is on the rod and reeling them in.”
“The potential liability doesn’t end with Covid-19 vaccines. According to the 2023-24 budget, indemnity has also been granted in advance to a manufacturer of a smallpox/monkeypox vaccine and a particular manufacturer of Covid-19 pandemic and pre-pandemic influenza vaccines,” says Senator Babet.
Senator Babet notes that such schemes incentivise risk-taking, as the pharma companies won’t be held liable if cutting corners leads to safety concerns.
“The Covid-19 vaccines have had an alarming adverse event reporting rate that is 23 times greater per dose than non-Covid-19 vaccines. They have resulted in over 139,000 adverse event reports and some people have died. The true scale of vaccine-related injuries and deaths is equally unquantifiable.”
To date, the Australian Government has refused to release its contracts with the Covid vaccine manufacturers. However, the provision of the federal vaccine injury claims scheme and the budgetary allocations for indemnity costs have been taken to indicate that it is the Australian Government (and therefore, taxpayers) who are copping the cost of Covid vaccine harms, not the pharma companies.
In 2021, it was widely reported that the big vaccine providers (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc) were riding roughshod over governments, securing secret contracts that enabled them to keep ownership of publicly funded patents, enabled profiteering, and that excused them from liability.
It is hard to imagine a strong reason for this bill to be voted down. The obvious counter is that vaccine development is in the interest of the nation, and as vaccine development is inherently risky, governments should offset that risk by providing indemnity. The obvious counter to this is that if governments take the risk, then taxpayers should share in the profits. That has not been the case.
A spokesperson for Senator Babet says that there is support within the Parliament for this bill. Next Thursday, the bill will be debated in Parliament, with the hope that it will instigate a broader public discussion about the nature of government agreements with large pharmaceutical corporations.
One would expect that a reasonable Parliament will progress this bill to the next stage, which would see it go to a Senate Committee for review. Then again, this Parliament voted no to releasing the Government’s Covid vaccine contracts, voted against launching an inquiry into Australia’s record excess deaths, and voted against several bills to end vaccine mandates.
Update: Just in, 5pm 3 Aug 2023
In Senate hearings also today, Pfizer representatives were not able to answer Senator Gerard Rennick’s simple question, ‘can you explain the mechanism by which the vaccine causes myocarditis and pericarditis?’. After three minutes of interjecting on the Pfizer bots reiterating that the benefits outweigh the risks in response to a question that was evidently not in their FAQ database, Senator Rennick gave up and moved on. Click through to watch here.
Dystopian Down Under is a reader-supported publication. Consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
To support my work, make a one-off contribution to DDU via my Kofi account and/or subscribe. Thanks!
Friend of DDU and fellow West Australian, ExcessDeathsAU, has published several articles on the Australian vaccine contracts which give more contextual detail: