Former federal MP Dr Kerryn Phelps has revealed that both she and her partner have suffered on-gong ill health from the Covid-19 vaccine.
The former Australian Medical Association president also blasted authorities for preventing doctors from speaking about vaccine injuries.
Speaking on the Today Show, Phelps said medical practitioners were scared to speak about vaccine injuries for fear of being deregistered.
She rejected suggestions that people who dared to speak about vaccine injuries were anti-vaxxers.
“They have turned up to have vaccines. They’re wanting to protect themselves against the serious consequences of COVID,” she said.
Phelps told a parliamentary inquiry into long Covid that her partner, Jackie Stricker-Phelps, had suffered nerve pain and fatigue since her first Covid vaccination.
Phelps said she herself had experiencing breathlessness and irregular blood pressure since her second shot.
She told the Today Show: “We obviously did a lot of homework about the vaccines and went along to have the vaccines because we believed that on the balance of risks and benefits that was the best thing to do,” she said.
“Within minutes of having the vaccine, [Jackie] had a quite severe reaction with numbness of the hands and feet, tingling all over her body, her head feeling like it was going to explode [with] pain. And then over the weeks and months following that, the condition continued.”
Phelps said they saw a numerous specialists and “the conclusion was that she had had an injury related to the vaccine”.
“I went back and had the second vaccine thinking that, you know, it is a rare reaction and again on the balance of risks and benefits [it was worth it]. And in my case I developed a reaction where my blood pressure, my pulse rate and my temperature was going up and down all over the place, with some quite distressing symptoms and persisting for quite some time over a period of many months.”
Dr Phelps said she had since been diagnosed with vaccine-related dysautonomia.
“Over the process of the last one-a-half years or so, I have also spoken to a number of colleagues who have had vaccine adverse events themselves, patients who have had vaccine adverse events,” she said.
In her submission to parliament, Phelps criticised the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for not properly following up reports of vaccine injuries.
And she blasted the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for threatening doctors who spoke about side effects of the Covid vaccines.
“Regulators of the medical profession have censored public discussion about adverse events following immunisation, with threats to doctors not to make any public statements about anything that ‘might undermine the government’s vaccine rollout’ or risk suspension or loss of their registration,” she wrote in the submission.
Phelps, who is one of the country’s most recognised public health campaigners, said a conversation was needed about vaccine injuries.
Phelps statement prompted ABC News presenter Eleni Roussos to tweet: “I want to say I too have been in a living hell with pericarditis because of the Covid vaccine. Vaccine injuries are real and serious and I sincerely hope more people will speak up.”
In March 2021, the AHPRA warned that anyone who sought to “undermine” the national Covid vaccine rollout could face deregistration or even prosecution.
AHPRA’s position statement said that “any promotion of anti-vaccination statements or health advice which contradicts the best available scientific evidence or seeks to actively undermine the national immunisation campaign (including via social media) is not supported by National Boards and may be in breach of the codes of conduct and subject to investigation and possible regulatory action”.
This week the regulator said it had “been clear in all of our guidance about Covid-19 vaccinations that we expect medical practitioners to use their professional judgment and the best available evidence in their practice”.
“This includes keeping up to date with public health advice from Commonwealth, state and territory authorities,” a spokeswoman said.
“Legitimate discussion and debate, based on science is appropriate and necessary to progress our understanding and knowledge. The [March 9, 2021 position] statement does not prevent practitioners from having these discussions.”