Craig Kelly’s unsolicited vaccine texts draw ire of TGA

By Melissa Coade

Friday September 17, 2021

The TGA announced on Wednesday that legal letters were sent to Kelly over the unsolicited texts, which reached thousands of Australians.
The TGA announced on Wednesday that legal letters were sent to Kelly over the unsolicited texts, which reached thousands of Australians. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Lawyers for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have claimed that the mass text-messaging campaign by federal member of parliament Craig Kelly must stop distributing incomplete extracts of COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reports.

The TGA announced on Wednesday that legal letters were sent to Kelly over the unsolicited texts, which reached thousands of Australians. The regulatory authority said it believed the information in those texts could be ‘seriously misleading’ because they distributed incomplete extracts of adverse event reports relating to COVID-19 vaccines. 

“The TGA has acted in an effort to ensure that the public receives accurate information about adverse event reports,” the statement read.

“It is alleged that extracts were selectively taken from the Database of Adverse Event Notifications on the TGA website by the United Australia Party (UAP) and used by the [political party] in text messages to members of the public.”

Kelly, the local member for Hughes, resigned from the Liberal party in February. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the time that Kelly’s decision to quit the coalition government had come as a shock although the politician was already mired in controversy having received a one-week ban from posting on Facebook for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policy.

The resignation letter Kelly gave to the pm acknowledged his own contentious views that were critical of the Australian health authorities for not showing support for hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin COVID treatments.

In August, the political organisation backed by Clive Palmer — the United Australia Party — announced Kelly as its new leader

With endless authoritarian lockdowns, the emergence of a police state, censorship, and our state borders shut contrary to the vision of our federation, I no longer recognise the country I grew up in. I fear for our nation’s future if we continue on the current path,” a statement from Kelly read. 

In its cease and desist letter to Kelly this week, the regulatory authority for therapeutic goods added that its reports were subject to copyright and the extracts that were lifted for distribution in Kelly and UAP’s campaign ‘removed important information about the reports and the TGA’s copyright statement’. 

The TGA also warned that it was not satisfactory to use the database information to identify whether a medicine or vaccine was safe or had caused reported adverse events or not.

“Further investigation of any adverse event report by the TGA is necessary before it can be concluded to have been related to vaccination.

“Statements emphasising this are included in the Database of Adverse Event Notifications and in reports that are generated from the database,” the TGA said.


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