Australia Craig Kelly will fight to BAN Covid-19 vaccine passports in Australia
Australia's rollout of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will NOT be paused
Australia's rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue despite growing fears the jab could be related to a blood clotting condition reported in some patients. Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has dismissed suggestions the vaccine poses any serious threat and the government's medical advice remains unchanged despite a man being hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition after receiving it.
Independent federal MP Craig Kelly will introduce a bill to ban so-called vaccine passports in Australia because he believes they will intrude on people's freedom.
The MP for Hughes in south Sydney, who resigned from the Liberal Party in February after promoting unproven treatments for Covid-19, wants to stop pubs, restaurants and footy stadiums from requiring proof of vaccination from customers.
His bill will be inspired by similar laws passed recently in several US states including Texas and Florida.
Explaining why he wants to stop vaccine passports from being introduced, Mr Kelly told Daily Mail Australia: 'I just think it's a gross intrusion of people's freedoms in a free, democratic country.
Decision about AstraZeneca's use in Australia to be make this week
An urgent investigation was launched into the potential side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine after a Melbourne man who received the jab was hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition. Experts have been holding talks with European regulators to determine whether the 44-year-old's low blood platelets and 22 other similar cases in the UK are linked to the vaccine. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will convene on Wednesday to weigh up the risks and benefits of AstraZeneca jabs once further information is provided from international discussions.
'You shouldn't have a set of papers to jump on public transport, or go to the pub or a restaurant, or turn up at the footy or a concert.
'I would think that's completely contrary to the freedoms that we enjoy in our country.'
He added: 'We don't have vaccine passports for much more serious diseases so why would you bring a domestic vaccine passport in for Covid?'
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said she is open to allowing private companies such as pubs and restaurants to require proof of vaccination from customers in a bid to encourage residents to get the jab.
Mr Kelly said using vaccine passports to improve jab take-up amounted to 'using coercion and force' to hasten the vaccine rollout.
'I don't think that's a very good way. If the vaccine rollout is the best thing since sliced bread it shouldn't need coercion and force and if you need coercion and force, I think there's a fundamental problem,' he said.
Criticism grows over Covid passports suggestion
Certificates are likely to be a feature of life until the Covid threat is over, a government review says.Government documents released on Monday said such certificates - that prove if someone has had a vaccine, has tested positive or has immunity - were likely to become "a feature of our lives".
Mr Kelly admitted that a federal bill may not have the power to override state governments - but he said it would likely be able to prevent vaccine passports from blocking inter-state trade and commerce.
The MP said his ban would only apply to domestic vaccine passports and would not relate to overseas travel.
'As Australians when we travel overseas we have to comply with the law of the overseas country and when foreigners come into Australia we're right to think about the risks of them bringing the disease in. So they're completely different arguments,' he said.
Mr Kelly is hopeful some members of the Liberal Party, the National Party and independents may support his bill which he wants to introduce the next time parliament sits in May.
Donald Trump Jr. Calls on GOP to Oppose Vaccine Passports or Quit
Trump Jr. called the prospect of vaccine passports potentially the "greatest affront" to American freedoms in recent history. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images Donald Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, urged Republicans to oppose vaccine passports or consider another career. Trump Jr. speaks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union on February 28, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland.
'I hope that each member of parliament puts their voice forward on whether they would support this,' he said.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott used his executive power to ban state government and some private entities from requiring Covid-19 vaccine passports to access services.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a similar executive order on Friday, banning businesses from requiring customers to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to get service and barring any government agency in Florida from issuing such documentation to provide proof of vaccinations.
The White House has ruled out a national 'vaccine passport,' saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people to show they've been vaccinated.
The Biden administration is developing guidelines for such passports, with rules on privacy, accuracy and equity.
Mr Kelly has insisted he is not an anti-vaxxer but has cast doubt on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines and previously said 'I'm waiting for all the evidence to come in' before taking one.
GOP Florida Fundraiser Requires Negative COVID Test as Gov. Ron DeSantis Bans 'Vaccine Passports'
"Proof of a negative COVID-19 test result is required in order to receive your credentials for the weekend," an email sent to wealthy donors hoping to attend an elite Republican retreat in Florida this week reportedly reads.Wealthy donors were sent an email from the RNC informing them of the requirement days before they were expected to attend an elite event featuring former President Donald Trump in Palm Beach later this week, according to The Washington Examiner. The move comes as Republicans nationwide push back on efforts from businesses and other entities to require proof of either vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results amid the pandemic.
In February he was interviewed on a podcast with former celebrity Pete Evans, who has been banned from Facebook for spreading anti-vax theories.
Mr Kelly has repeatedly endorsed the use of drugs hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat Covid-19, even though reputable global studies have found them to be ineffective and potentially harmful.
He has also claimed that making children wear masks was akin to child abuse.
'Two-tier society' warning over Covid passports .
Vaccine certificates could help to reopen society but risk discrimination, a UK equality body warns.The Equality and Human Rights Commission says certificates to prove who is vaccinated could help to ease restrictions "in principle".