Australian federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has flagged the possibility that children aged zero to four may become eligible for a COVID-19 jab, prompting a warning from One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts.
As Australia opens up and learns to live with COVID-19, the federal government has budgeted hundreds of millions of dollars to extend its vaccination program until the end of 2022, as it remains the position of the federal government that vaccination is "the most effective way" to prevent severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalisation, and death.
Expressing full confidence in the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines, the federal government plans to spend more than $1 billion between 2022 and 2024 to enable Australians to get access to them.
The spending plan comes after Australia saw its highest COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation rates between late January and early February, as the Omicron variant wave swept the country, causing major workforce shortages and disruptions.
This was concurrently when the vaccination rate climbed towards 90 percent of the entire eligible population.
However, while not against the extension of the vaccination program, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts said he is opposed to "any attempt to mandate these vaccines and extend the use of these vaccines to infants and toddlers."
He warned fellow parliamentarians that any harm caused by the vaccines on young children would be on their hands.
"Last night, Health Minister Hunt did indeed reveal that planning is underway to extend COVID vaccines to children aged zero to four—babies and newborn infants to four-year-olds."
Roberts accused the incumbent Liberal-National coalition government of trying to sneak through its plans to jab children aged four and under while the public is distracted by the upcoming federal elections.
"Clearly, this Morrison-Joyce government ... is intending on using the cover of the election to vaccinate infants and toddlers for a disease with a 100 percent survival rate for a child that age," he said.
"The injections are known to be killers, and now the Morrison-Joyce government wants to push it into babies."
Roberts is among a minority of elected officials, from different conservative parties, pushing back against federal and state government mandates for COVID-19 vaccines, which he characterises as an attribute of "totalitarianism."
Peer-Reviewed Papers Warn Against Vaccinating KidsIn fact, the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the Toxicology Reports journal titled "Why are we vaccinating children against COVID-19?" wrote that "for children the chances of death from COVID-19 are negligible" but that "the chances of serious damage over their lifetime from the toxic inoculations are not negligible."
"Because if something bad happens, you can’t go back and say, ‘whoops, I want a do-over,'” Malone said.
He also said: “It is clear that parents should think twice about vaccinating their child,” adding that serious adverse events can occur and can be “so severe that it puts your child in the hospital.”
Malone noted that with regard to myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, “there’s a good chance that if your child takes the vaccine, they won’t be damaged, they won’t show clinical symptoms—[but] they may have subclinical damage.”
But he cautioned parents against the risks of taking the chance that their child may "draw the short straw" and suffer "irreversible" damage, noting that he receives emails from parents going through it.
Australia offers two non-mRNA COVID-19 jabs, AstraZeneca and Novavax, but these are not approved for children.