‘No doctor need worry’: Hunt alleviates fears over AstraZeneca litigation

Doctors have been reassured they are protected by law if a patient experiences an adverse reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Health Minister Greg Hunt says the legal advice from the Morrison government is general practitioners will be protected from unreasonable legal action over possible AstraZeneca side effects.

“No doctor need worry,” he said.

His comments followed revelations doctors were refusing to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 fearing potential lawsuits if patients suffered side effects.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has advised New South Wales GPs not to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine unless there are exceptional circumstances while in Victoria the AMA said doctors should be guided by federal advice.

Mr Hunt said, “Australia already has vaccine indemnity agreements in place. The AMA and college of general practitioners have clear advice in writing from the government to that effect”.

He also said updated informed consent material was in place so “no doctor should worry” about the risk of litigation associated with administering the AstraZeneca vaccine