CANBERRA, ACT — As Australia approaches its 4th year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with high uptake of primary vaccine doses across the country, a new patient-led group is calling for more support for Australians who have experienced an injury after rolling up their sleeves.
A group of vaccine-injured Australians have banded together to launch the nation’s first not-for-profit organisation to raise awareness and remove barriers for patients seeking treatment for COVID-19 vaccine injuries.
COVERSE advocates for Australians who have suffered, and continue to suffer, significant adverse reactions following their COVID-19 vaccinations. The group’s primary goal is to boost treatment and support for people whose lives have been upended by adverse reactions.
Despite the high uptake of vaccination against COVID-19 across the country and with known risks of adverse reactions to the vaccines, there is currently no robust Government or medical support for injured Australians.
According to independent Australian scientific body, OzSAGE,[*] “General Practitioners do not have an easy referral path nor resources to manage AEFI (adverse events following immunisation). As we move into our 4th year of the pandemic it is clear such clinics and pathways should be available.”
As Australia moves on to the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s vaccine-injured have been left behind to grapple with a complex and poorly understood medical condition with little support.
“Our collective lived experiences highlight the growing need for education and services in this area,” says COVERSE Director Naomi Smith.
“We are heartened to see a focus being placed on Long Covid, but Long Vax Syndrome is not on anyone’s agenda. There is little to no knowledge or support in this area, and health outcomes are declining as a result.”
The organisation says the time has come for a mature national discussion of vaccine adverse reactions and those who have been impacted by them, without being labelled anti-vax. Such discussion is necessary for the nation’s vaccine-injured to be better supported, ensuring all Australians see out the pandemic with the care and dignity they deserve.
Those injured by COVID-19 vaccines, government officials, researchers, healthcare professionals and supporters can find out more on the COVERSE website (coverse.org.au).