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WA Premier labels Covid-19 anti-vaxxers ‘wacky, nutty and dangerous’

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has blasted Covid-19 anti-vaxxers, labelling them “wacky, nutty and dangerous” as he urged them to “act like normal, rational human beings” and get the jab.

Mr McGowan, who has copped abuse and threats from anti-vaxxers after mandating the vaccine for certain industries, said their behaviour only served to harden the state government’s resolve.

“We’re more determined to put in place measures to get people vaccinated,” he told reporters on Sunday.

More than 1000 people gathered at Elizabeth Quay in the CBD for a protest against the Covid-19 jab on Saturday.

Asked if he was concerned about anti-vaccine sentiment growing, Mr McGowan said: “It’s concerning. I just urge these people to go and get vaccinated … the time for protesting and reading crazy conspiracy theorists online is over.”

Premier Mark McGowan has labelled anti-vaxxers ‘wacky, nutty and dangerous’.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan has labelled anti-vaxxers ‘wacky, nutty and dangerous’. Credit: The West Australian, Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Mr McGowan said he actually believed the campaign had recently died down despite the rally.

“But some of the material they’re spreading is extreme, misleading and frankly lies,” he said.

The Premier said they should “get on with life, like everyone else”.

“They are reading wacky theories online that are untrue,” he said.

“This rubbish that’s put out online and some of the lies and misleading information … is dangerous.

“I just urge them to stop, go and get vaccinated and just act like normal, rational human beings.”

Protesters are reportedly planning another rally on Monday in the city.

Meanwhile, the Premier announced booster shots would be available in WA from Monday, with no requirement to book an appointment.

On Thursday, the federal government announced the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations had recommended booster jabs for adults after the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the program would officially begin on November 8, but Mr McGowan said any WA adult who had received their second vaccine dose more than six months ago could go to a state clinic from Monday for their third jab.

“The medical advice is irrespective of what vaccine you had first, the booster vaccine is now the Pfizer vaccine,” Mr McGowan said.

“I just urge anyone in that position please go and get your booster vaccine and obviously as time goes by, more and more people will become eligible as they hit the six-month period from their second dose.”

McGowan Vax
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan got the AstraZeneca vaccine. Colin Murty/The Australian Credit: News Corp Australia

On Saturday, it was announced that any travellers to WA from medium, high and extreme risk jurisdictions must be double vaccinated from November 5.

Mr McGowan said on Sunday that it would currently include people from NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

“Queensland is dropping its border shortly to NSW and Victoria, so is South Australia and Tasmania,” he said.

“We expect that they’ll get community spread of the virus, probably before Christmas.

“So that will mean that we can put in place the requirement for double dose vaccination once they get community spread of the virus, based upon health advice.

“We haven’t got the advice as yet, and we also need to take account of the lawyers’ advice, but obviously as it spreads in those states that will provide that opportunity.”

Despite the number of cases in NSW falling, Mr McGowan said he was not yet prepared to ease border restrictions.

“They’re about to open international borders without any requirement for quarantine and we just have to monitor that,” he said.

“There could be further spread of the virus, or you could have people then say, ‘I want to go to NSW and leave the country, come back into NSW and then just come home’ who are Covid-positive.

“I just want us to get through this period and get to very high levels of vaccinations before such time as we run the risk of people coming from NSW, Victoria or indeed overseas, who would spread the virus here.”

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