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Parliamentary Questions


Question Without Notice No. 239 asked in the Legislative Council on 3 June 2021 by Hon Sophia Moermond

Parliament: 41 Session: 1

CORONAVIRUS — VACCINATION PLAN

239. Hon SOPHIA MOERMOND to the minister representing the Minister for Health:

I refer the minister to the COVID-19 vaccination program currently underway across the state, and to the fact that emergency health management strategies have been implemented by the Australian Department of Health that do not actively promote secondary immunocompetency development strategies. Historically, health promotion and public education campaigns such as ''vitamins and minerals'' have reinforced the importance of a diet rich in vitamin D and vitamin B. However, zinc is another key to immunocompetency and, more specifically, respiratory health.

(1) Does the government have any plans to combine the effective, culturally safe and appropriate delivery of vaccinations alongside any immunodeficiency awareness campaign, community education and clinical research?

(2) Does the Department of Health concede that secondary immunocompetency training is necessary to support a holistic approach to harm minimisation associated with community transmission of COVID-19?

(3) Will the minister ensure that informed consent extends to evaluating therapeutic alternatives to the commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination program, and does he intend to support Roll Up for WA with additional phases or campaigns beyond Think Mental Health's ''Be Positive. Be Connected. Be Active'' campaign launched in April 2020?

The PRESIDENT: Before I give the call to the Minister for Mental Health, honourable member, I might refer you to the statement I made yesterday in the chamber regarding the length of questions without notice and the standing orders that guide the development of those questions.

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) WA Health fully supports and delivers key messages and campaigns around healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise being a key component of health maintenance. The primary focus of the WA government's COVID-19 vaccination program is to encourage uptake and awareness of COVID-19 vaccinations.

(2) No. Healthy lifestyle is a key component of all health maintenance.

(3) No. The focus of consent for vaccination is ensuring that individuals are aware of key risks associated with the vaccine. Informed consent should not be linked to program evaluation or future public health campaigns. At this stage there are no plans to combine the COVID-19 vaccination campaign with other health campaigns currently in the market.

The WA government operates the COVID-19 vaccination program on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which works closely with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The TGA's evaluation is also informed by the advice of an independent committee of external experts, the Advisory Committee on Vaccines.