What we learned: Monday 12 April
The Morrison government has released a plan that aims to address the global trend of women being excluded from peace-keeping, conflict resolution and security operations.
The minister for foreign affairs and women, Marise Payne, said gender equality “boosts economies and can break cycles of conflict to lay a solid foundation for peace” - but too often women were excluded from positions of responsibility in conflict-affected regions.
Women’s involvement is essential to “creating durable peace”, according to the report released this afternoon. Pointing to progress already made, Payne said: “Today, all Australian Defence Force personnel deployed to fragile, dislocated and conflict-affected contexts are trained in Women, Peace and Security.”
The full report can be found here.
Questions about indemnity insurance for doctors and clinics administering the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have arisen in the days since Australian health regulators changed their advice for the jab to take blood clotting concerns for Australians aged under 50 into consideration.
So are doctors legally protected if an under 50-year-old still opts to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine? And why has Victoria halted its AstraZeneca rollout to under 50 year olds?
On Sunday, health minister Greg Hunt sought to reassure general practioners that they were covered, saying “Australia already has vaccine indemnity agreements in place”.
“I am saying this on behalf of the government but also on behalf of our legal advice: no doctor need worry,” Hunt said.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners appears to back up what Hunt has said. RACGP president Dr Karen Price told the Hlcarpenter.com this afternoon:
I understand that some GPs will be feeling uncertain about the vaccine rollout and wanting further clarification on the potential legal implications of vaccinating a person aged 50 or under with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the Medical Defence Organisations have stated that GPs are covered when delivering the AstraZeneca vaccine so there is no need for alarm.
There is still the capacity for GPs to administer the vaccine to those under 50 who want to receive the AZ jab and where the benefit is determined to be greater than the risk.
GPs will need to obtain and document informed consent as they would for any other vaccination. There will be no separate legal document or contract, as all medical records are binding legal documents already.”
While Price is essentially saying GPs will be covered, it’s a slightly different story for state run vaccination clinics.
This is why acting Victorian premier James Merlino, in announcing earlier today the rollout of the AstraZeneca jab would be paused until updated health information could be translated into more languages, also called on the federal government to provide indemnity agreements for state-run facilities, so the state government is legally protected against being sued if the AstraZeneca vaccine is administered to a younger person.
Victorian health minister Martin Foley said he was confident this would be given, but it just had not come through yet.
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