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Australia Airlines debunk rumours vaccinated travellers won't be allowed to fly due to blood-clot fears

01:26  14 may  2021
01:26  14 may  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

Man claims he 'almost died' after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine

  Man claims he 'almost died' after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine A 65-year-old Queensland man claimed he went into a coma because of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Therapeutic Goods Administration is still investigating the man's case.The civil engineer from Shute Harbour in the Whitsundays, Queensland, said he had a stroke which caused him to go into a coma five days after getting the jab on March 26.

The India travel ban not only prevents flights to Australia, it also shuts off virtually all trips from here to the subcontinent nation. The ban means Australian citizens and permanent residents who are willing to go to India and stay for months, or until the nation's coronavirus crisis improves, remain locked out. It is not clear whether travel restrictions to India will be loosened when the federal government lifts its ban on flights from the country on May 15. 'Giving up all hope'. Another Indian-born Australian citizen, Sunil Jacob, tried in vain to fly to India in time for his father's funeral on Saturday and to support his

Major US airlines have weighed in alongside UK carriers to urge the reopening of transatlantic travel , calling on governments in Washington and London to arrange a summit as soon as possible. Pfizer has asked the UK medical regulator for permission to use its Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in Britain, the Telegraph has reported. Teachers in Buenos Aires are demanding a return to virtual learning due to the increase in cases of coronavirus since the return of students.

CoronaCheck is RMIT ABC Fact Check's weekly email newsletter, dedicated to fighting the misinformation infodemic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

You can read the latest edition below, and subscribe to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

CoronaCheck #65

In this week's newsletter, we debunk claims that vaccinated people will be barred from flying because of blood-clot fears and investigate whether COVID-19 vaccines have been tested on animals.

We also fact check a "fact check" by Senator Matthew Canavan, and give our verdict on a claim from unlikely bedfellows Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd.

'Coronavirus myth': Why the COVID-19 jab can't shed like other vaccines to infect others

  'Coronavirus myth': Why the COVID-19 jab can't shed like other vaccines to infect others In this week's CoronaCheck, we take aim at claims about COVID-19 vaccine "shedding", AstraZeneca blood clots and the Prime Minister's "luxury" watch.You can read the latest edition below, and  to have the next newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.

A potentially fatal blood - clotting disease is 30 times more common among people who have received the Covid-19 vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer than those given the troubled AstraZeneca jab, researchers have found. A team of scientists from the University of Oxford has found that after vaccination , Vaxzevria (formerly AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine ) recipients were less likely to suffer portal vein thrombosis (PVT) – blood clots in the artery from the intestines to the liver.

United Airlines announced Monday that passengers who refuse to wear masks will be put on an internal no- fly list and will be banned from boarding future flights. The airline said the policy will start taking effect Thursday and last for a minimum of 60 days, adding that the policy is being put into place to protect passengers and The policy allows for some individuals to be exempted, such as small children or people who have a disability or health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. All other passengers are required to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking, according to United.

Airlines aren't banning vaccinated travellers

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce previously raised hackles with his suggestions that proof of vaccination against COVID-19 could become a requirement for international travel. But new claims spreading online suggest it may actually be those who are vaccinated who will be barred from flying.

"I heard from someone who has contacts inside the [unnamed] airline and they are now discussing that the injected should not be allowed to fly," one Facebook post reads.

"Because the injection creates clots and bleeding and that is life threatening — when it happens at several thousand meters altitude. So the airlines do not want to risk being sued and have deaths on board."

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia confirmed to Fact Check that no such bans were being considered.

Got the vaccine? You can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really.

  Got the vaccine? You can relax about your Covid-19 risk now. Really. I asked experts about their post-vaccination lives. Most no longer worry about their own risk of Covid-19. The vaccines really are that good for your personal safety The clinical and real-world evidence for the vaccines is now pretty clear: They are extremely effective at protecting a person from Covid-19. The clinical trials put the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines’ efficacy rates at 95-plus percent and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s at more than 70 percent. All three vaccines also drove the risk of hospitalization and death to nearly zero. The real-world evidence has backed this up.

TTS involves blood clots accompanied by a low level of platelets - the cells in the blood that help it to clot. So far, three of the 28 have died. Previously, as of 25 April, the CDC had reported 17 cases of clotting among nearly 8 million people given vaccines . Both vaccines are based on a new technology using adenoviruses, which cause the common cold and have been modified to essentially render them harmless. The viruses are used to carry instructions into the body to make specific coronavirus proteins, priming the immune system to make antibodies that fight off the actual virus.

TTS involves blood clots accompanied by a low level of platelets - the cells in the blood that help it to clot. So far, three of the 28 have died. Previously, as of 25 April, the CDC had reported 17 cases of clotting among nearly 8 million people given vaccines . Both vaccines are based on a new technology using adenoviruses, which cause the common cold and have been modified to essentially render them harmless. The viruses are used to carry instructions into the body to make specific coronavirus proteins, priming the immune system to make antibodies that fight off the actual virus.

In an email, a spokeswoman for Qantas said the airline had "never said anything about not allowing vaccinated travellers onboard" and pointed Fact Check to a November 2020 media release outlining the airline's vaccination policy.

A spokesman for Virgin Australia told Fact Check that the airline would "continue to consider relevant government and health advice around vaccination", making "any decisions in line with passenger and crew health and safety".

Meanwhile, Allen Cheng, director of the Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology unit at Alfred Health in Melbourne, told Fact Check that banning those people vaccinated against COVID-19 because of clotting risks "wouldn't make much sense".

According to Professor Cheng there are two types of clotting syndromes — "common" clots such as deep vein thrombosis and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

COVID restrictions: What states have eased rules following updated CDC guidance

  COVID restrictions: What states have eased rules following updated CDC guidance The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance on masks, allowing states to ease or outright remove certain COVID-19 restrictions.The CDC announced Thursday that it revised its mask guidance again, saying they are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in settings with incredibly crowded indoor gatherings.

TTS involves blood clots accompanied by a low level of platelets - the cells in the blood that help it to clot. So far, three of the 28 have died. Previously, as of 25 April, the CDC had reported 17 cases of clotting among nearly 8 million people given vaccines . Both vaccines are based on a new technology using adenoviruses, which cause the common cold and have been modified to essentially render them harmless. The viruses are used to carry instructions into the body to make specific coronavirus proteins, priming the immune system to make antibodies that fight off the actual virus.

This week, Pfizer’s vaccine won authorisation for use in 12- to 15-year-olds, in a move that could make it easier to reopen the nation’s schools. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it has identified 28 cases of serious blood clotting among the more than 8.7 million people who had received the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine . The CDC said in a presentation that the highest rates of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome – blood clotting combined with a low platelet count – were among women aged 30 to 49.

Common clots, he explained, are associated with long periods of not moving, such as post-surgery hospitalisation and prolonged air travel.

TSS, on the other hand, is much less common and associated with specific medications, including the AstraZeneca vaccine. According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, TSS may occur four to 20 days after vaccination.

"TTS is generally severe, tends to involve different locations in the body and occurs in the absence of recent air travel," Professor Cheng said.

"So AstraZeneca vaccination isn't thought to be a risk for common clots."

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines have passed animal testing

Claims that COVID-19 vaccines produced using messenger ribonucleic acid (or mRNA) have not passed trials in animals have been circulating online.

"No mRNA vac[cine] has ever made it to market due to failures (wide scale deaths) at animal trial stage," one Twitter user suggested.

"They've omitted the animal trials this time, got emergency use authorisation and you are the guinea pigs."

But research shows mRNA vaccines and therapies have produced favourable results in animal trials before being tested in humans.

Quarantine-free travel for vaccinated Aussies 'not a bad concept'

  Quarantine-free travel for vaccinated Aussies 'not a bad concept' A leading infectious diseases expert has described the Prime Minister's proposed incentive of quarantine-free travel for vaccinated Australians as "not a bad concept".Australia's international borders are expected to remain closed until mid-2022, according to predictions in Federal Budget papers.

Animal testing occurs in the preclinical phase of vaccine development. If animal testing results show a vaccine is safe and effective, it moves into the first stage of human trials, known as phase I clinical trials.

In July 2020, Moderna Therapeutics announced the publication of a preclinical study of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273), which found that the vaccine triggered a "robust immune response and protection" against the novel coronavirus in non-human primates.

Meanwhile, preclinical data released this year for the Pfizer and BioNTech mRNA vaccine candidates (BNT162b1 and BNT162b2) found both caused "immune responses in mice and macaques".

Even before the creation of the COVID-19 vaccines, mRNA technology was being used in the development of various medical treatments, including vaccinations against influenza and the Zika virus.

In April 2017, interim data from a phase I trial for a Moderna influenza A vaccine, known as mRNA 1440, was published alongside the preclinical data of its testing on animals.

"We demonstrated that the [lipid nanoparticles]-based, modified-mRNA vaccine technology is able to generate robust and protective immune responses in mice, ferrets, and cynomolgus monkeys," the researchers concluded.

From Washington, D.C.

In a particularly meta case of fact checking in the US, PolitiFact this week deemed claims that the Washington Post Fact Checker had given up covering the presidency of Joe Biden to be false.

When can we stop wearing masks?

  When can we stop wearing masks? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created some confusion last week when it said those who are fully vaccinated can, in most circumstances, forgo wearing masks both indoors and outdoors while those who are unvaccinated must keep wearing them. Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, however, must keep wearing masks while in crowded indoor settings, like hospitals, museums and movie theaters, and while on public transportation. "We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced during a White House COVID-19 briefing last Thursday.

According to Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, the paper had supposedly shut down its fact-checking division "because the President is a Democrat".

"THIS is why no one trusts the media," Ms Boebert tweeted.

But that's not quite right.

As PolitiFact explained, Glenn Kessler, editor and chief reporter for the Post's Fact Checker, recently announced that his team would no longer be maintaining a searchable database of fact checks on Mr Biden's claims due to the labour involved in the project.

"Maintaining the Trump database over four years required about 400 additional 8-hour days over four years beyond our regular jobs for three people," Kessler explained in a tweet.

"Biden is off to a relatively slow start but who knows what will happen. We will keep doing fact checks, just not a database."

Fact checking an LNP Senator's ‘fact check'

Queensland Liberal National Party Senator Matthew Canavan took to Twitter this week to issue his own "fact check" on the value of "homemakers".

In a meme shared by the Senator, a quote supposedly from The Chronicle of Narnia author C.S. Lewis, suggests "the homemaker has the ultimate career" and that "all other careers exist for one purpose only — and that is to support the ultimate career".

"Fact Check: True," Senator Canavan captioned the meme.

But the meme contains an error: the words were not exactly those of C.S. Lewis.

According to William O'Flaherty, author of The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn't Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters, the quote featured in the meme is similar to words found in a letter C.S. Lewis wrote to a woman named Mrs Johnson in 1955.

Two vaccine-linked blood clot cases in SA

  Two vaccine-linked blood clot cases in SA Health officials say there's been two cases of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine in South Australia, including a 53-year-old man in intensive care.SA Health says the case of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) was confirmed late on Wednesday and is the first confirmed case in SA.

"While we don't have what she wrote, it's obvious from what Lewis penned that she was feeling overwhelmed at the work she was doing at home," O'Flaherty, who runs the Essential C.S. Lewis website, told Fact Check.

"He used the expression ‘housewife's work' and stated, ‘it is surely, in reality, the most important work in the world'. Then, after making additional comments to elaborate on his statement, he ended his thoughts by writing, ‘So your job is the one for which all others exist'."

O'Flaherty said he labelled this type of quote an "almost Lewis quote".

"Meaning, it is a paraphrase of something similar to what he actually wrote," he said.

"Thus, while not a real Lewis quotation, it does convey something Lewis would agree with."

And so, too, Senator Canavan.

Did Rudd and Turnbull get their facts straight?

In a recent opinion article published in The Guardian, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull warned that Australia "remains dangerously at risk of the economic and environmental consequences that will come from the climate crisis barrelling towards us".

"With more than 70 per cent of Australia's trade now with countries committed to net zero, the prospect of carbon-border taxes being introduced — beginning with the European Union — also leaves us economically exposed," the pair wrote.

Fact Check this week found that claim to be a fair call.

At the time the article was published, 20 of Australia's 30 biggest trading partners had already committed to reaching net-zero emissions.

Together, these 20 countries account for 71.6 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade (all exports and imports).

Measured by exports alone, the proportion is even higher.

Of Australia's top 30 export destinations, 17 countries have announced commitments to net-zero emissions, accounting for 74.2 per cent of the total.

On both measures, the numbers are slightly higher again once smaller trade partners — those inside the European Union but outside the top 30 — are included.

Edited by  with Lauren Basto

Got a fact that needs checking? Tweet us @ABCFactCheck or send us an email at factcheck@rmit.edu.au

[Hearken COVID embed]

The CDC’s mask guidelines are scientifically sound — if you actually read them .
Why the CDC is so confident that (most) fully vaccinated people can go maskless. The vaccines are really freaking good There’s been a lot of news coverage on the very rare instances where vaccines fail, leading to sickness, hospitalization, or death. But these events are very rare. Even the news that eight players on the Yankees tested positive for Covid-19 after being vaccinated isn’t cause for alarm on closer inspection.

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