A Sydney man has received an on-air grilling after admitting he blatantly lied his way into getting two doses of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine.
Tom Lee defended his controversial choice on Friday’s Sunrise program, telling hosts Natalie Barr and Matt Doran he wasn’t the least bit remorseful.
The 34-year-old received his second dose of Pfizer this week, despite having already received both AstraZeneca jabs, and has denied allegations his move was selfish.
“I did it because I wanted the best possible protection against the coronavirus and I don’t feel bad for taking it off someone else. I don’t think I have pinched it from anyone else,” he said.
Mr Lee claimed he was “put on the spot” moments before getting his first dose of Pfizer, explaining that he had initially presented for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“I was told they only had Pfizer. I was put on the spot, I could go home empty-handed or I could take the Pfizer, and I decided that since I had gone all the way there, I may as I get the Pfizer and get the mixture,” he said.
He dismissed the suggestion that he had knowingly taken the prospect of vaccination away from someone else in the queue.
“They had allocated Pfizer to everyone there on the day. I got there at the end of the day, and just asked if I could get vaccinated,” he said.
Pressed on whether he lied to staff at the vaccination centre about his AstraZeneca vaccine, he admitted he didn’t tell the full truth and claimed the “Pfizer vaccine was going to go in the bin if it wasn’t going into my arm”.
Pfizer has a shelf life of five days after it’s thawed, so long as it is kept between two and eight degrees, according to an Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) report.
Mr Lee argued that, despite a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer not being endorsed by the ATAGI, he was confident that a mix would soon be the preferred approach.
He also dismissed suggestions there was a huge portion of Australians “angry” over a lack of access to the Pfizer vaccine.
“The AstraZeneca factory down in Melbourne is making one million a week. What I have done is shown that the vaccines are out there, they are available just go get them,” he said.
AstraZeneca, while available to all Australian adults who seek advice from their GP, is not recommended for people aged under 40.
The segment concluded with Barr asserting that she was “not very impressed” by Mr Lee’s behaviour.