This misinformation is causing significant harm, particularly to vulnerable communities such as indigenous communities who are at extreme risk of severe illness and death with COVID. Among this community, the vaccination rates are appallingly low because they are misled by the incorrect information.
In an interview on 2SM radio, Dr Khorshid said that in vulnerable communities, this information spreads like wildfire and could result in people unnecessarily dying of COVID.
“We’ve got to protect our community from this devastating disease, because if someone gets infected, it’s not just their own self that they’re harming, but they’re filling up hospitals, they’re exposing doctors and nurses to the virus. And you might stop your neighbour across the road from being able to access proper health care when they have a heart attack because you didn’t get vaccinated, and you’re taking up their ICU bed, which could have been prevented if you got yourself vaccinated.
“All vaccines, including these coronavirus vaccines, create an immune response in the body - that's what they're designed to do, otherwise they won't work. Now when you create an immune response, you get substances circulating in your body that can give you some symptoms - they can give you a headache, a fever, they can give you a sore arm, things like that. They're pretty common side effects from vaccinations, and to be honest, they're a good sign, because it means the vaccine's doing its job.
The full transcript is available here: https://www.ama.com.au/media/transcript-ama-president-dr-omar-khorshid-2sm