Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s calling out of Coalition MP George Christensen for “dangerous” advice on vaccines is more than a debate for the wider public.
Both politicians happen to be Christians and the “dangerous” advice was given on a podcast that is part of a network run by a conservative Christian David Pellowe. The podcasters and authors featured on Pellowe’s Good Sauce network are mostly but not exclusively Christians. As well as Christensen, they include Lyle Shelton, David Flint, James Macpherson and Pellowe himself. Several of these have written for Eternity and remain welcome. And so are those who disagree with them! (See a response by David Pellowe below)
It needs to be acknowledged that there is a good deal of diversity among these conservative personalities. Flint, for example, is best known for his constitutional monarchist views, but there may well be a republican on the site.
Pellowe also runs the Australian Church and State Summit conference each year, which is a Christian gathering.
But readers should avoid “guilt by association,” especially when it comes to the Christensen view on vaccines.
Christensen, the MP for Dawson, was denounced by the PM after his “ConservativeOne” podcast advocated that children should not be vaccinated against COVID.
“So, you know, I’m gonna get condemned, no doubt, by the media and all the rest of them for saying to people ‘Do not vaccinate your children, do not vaccinate your children,'” Christensen says on the pod. “I probably could not say that clear enough, you know.”
His guest, the vaccine dissident doctor Robert Malone, alleged that children experience a high frequency of adverse effects and that vaccinating children would reduce the protection adults received from the vaccines. He cited no studies for these conclusions.
“Don’t listen to George Christensen, the PM said this week. He’s not a doctor. He can’t tell you what to do with vaccines. I listen to Professor Paul Kelly and their advice is children should be vaccinated…”
Asked a follow-up question, the PM elaborated on Christensen: “I think they’re unwise views. I think they’re dangerous views. I don’t think parents should be listening to them. That’s certainly the medical advice I have from the chief medical officer, and that’s consistent with the advice you get anywhere in the world. And what I do say, parents, is this. I know parents as they’re considering their children’s vaccine, they want information and they want good information, and they want credible information to help them make their choice about their children’s vaccination, particularly for young ones, 5 to 11. Now my daughters are older than that, but Josh’s kids aren’t. You want the best information. So my advice to them is to get the best information from the official sources. Don’t go off to things that are people are just rabbiting on on Facebook and social media and all the rest of it.”
What is the medical advice?
ATAGI, (the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) has supported children being immunised with the Pfizer vaccine, recommending the dosage and an interval between each dose.
- They cite a Pfizer clinical trial: “The paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been demonstrated to reduce COVID-19 in children 5-11 years of age. Within an ongoing clinical trial evaluating the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 months to 11 years of age, results have been reported for the age group 5 to 11 years.”
- ATAGI reports that studies suggest “that a vaccination program for young children may have an impact on reducing COVID-19 hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths in the overall population.”
- The ATAGI paper contains an analysis of “very rare adverse events” folowing childhood immunisations with the Phizer vaccine. A more recent study by the CDC provides the real-world data that the ATAGI report said would soon become available. It confirms the extreme rarity of adverse effects, contrary to Malone’s comments on the podcast.
The PM and George Christensen are both Christians. Their dispute brings to the general public what has been apparent – not least at Eternity – that some Christians disagree on the medical efficacy of the vaccines.
This is a related but separate issue to the much-discussed but no longer practically relevant discussion of mandates concerning whether churches should be allowed to have unvaccinated and vaccinated people worshipping together. Churches can now set their own rules.
A small group of Christians take an anti-COVID-vaccine stance. The Christensen argument in the podcast episode is not about any use of fetal tissue in the testing of the mRNA vaccines – but about efficacy and harm.
The overwhelming majority of Christians will disagree with Christensen. This will be shown by the number of parents who will be keen to have their 5 to 11-year-olds vaccinated.
Eternity is pro-vaccine and urges people who are able to be vaccinated to receive the vaccine. This will help to protect the hospital system from being overwhelmed, and lessen the risk that medically compromised people, some of whom can’t be vaccinated, will catch COVID.
We agree with the PM. Christensen and Malone’s comments about children and vaccines are unwise and dangerous.
At the same time we want to recognise those sister and brother Christians who are against the vaccines as fellow believers. Some of you even want to make scepticism about vaccines or mandates a test for fellowship. We don’t adopt any shiboleth. We are united in Christ and we honour your place in the fellowhip of believers.
A response by David Pellowe:
“The only patently ‘unwise’ and ‘dangerous’ views on offer are epitomised by the question the PM was responding to.
The journalist chose the words, “Why have you allowed him the freedom?”
A journalist wanted to know why an elected representative is allowed to question the status quo, to survey and publish alternative views of concerned, eminently qualified experts?
Neither suppression nor vilification of dissenters is wise or safe in any kind of society, and the political and media class are collectively culpable of such behaviour for two years now.
What liberal democracies do is ventilate competing ideas, not suffocate them.
As to the issue of vaccinating children, if we’re supposed to credit COVID-vaccine advocates with sincere concern for their health, where is the broad promotion of the plethora of proven, peer-reviewed & published preventative or early-intervention therapies? Ist verboten?
Such singularness of therapeutic options defies rational explanation, and leaves subsequent concern for anyone’s health straining credulity.”