Australian government hasn’t admitted vaccines are a dangerous poison

3 August 2021
What was claimed

The Australian government has admitted Covid-19 vaccines are a poison.

Our verdict

Under Western Australian legislation, vaccines (alongside medicines such as paracetamol) are classed as poisons. This is just a legal definition, and does not mean the government is saying they are dangerous or planning to poison people.

What was claimed

The Australian government has removed documents describing the vaccines as a poison from their site as part of a cover-up.

Our verdict

This is untrue. At the time of writing the documents referred to in the video were available in full on the government of Western Australia’s website.

A video shared on Facebook from video hosting platform Bitchute claims to show that the Australian government has admitted that Covid-19 vaccines are a poison. 

The first part of the video refers to documentation on a state government website, which sets out legislation allowing employees of the Australian Defence Force to administer the Covid-19 vaccines. This document is from the Government of Western Australia, rather than the Australian federal government.

One of the headings on this document reads “authorisation to supply or administer a poison”, with the word appearing in several other places throughout the text. The narrator of the video suggests that officials have used the word “poison” “to cover their butts… in case people get hurt”. 

Later, the narrator points to Western Australia’s Public Health Act 2016, Section 197 of which states that the “chief health officer may authorise persons to administer, manufacture, supply or prescribe poisons”. 

They then point to the first definition of the word “poison” on Google, which states: “A substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.” The narrator describes this as “medical tyranny”, and says it gives officials “the ability to poison citizens”. 

But, as other fact checkers have previously written, the term “poison” isn’t defined this way in Australian legislation. In this context, “poisons” relate not only to the dangerous substances we might usually associate with the word, but also medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.  

Dr Marco Rizzi, specialist in medical law at the University of Western Australia, told Reuters: “Poison is a generic term that includes what the general public understands to be a poison, but extends to over-the-counter medicines and prescription medicines.”  

The person narrating the video also states that the documents couldn’t be downloaded, suggesting that the state government may have purposefully taken it down and “made it a secret document” as part of a cover-up. 

At the time of writing. Full Fact was able to view both the specific section on Covid-19 vaccines and the Public Health Act 2016 in full on the Government of Western Australia’s site. 

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the person making this claim misunderstands the use of the word “poison” in the specific legal context it is situated within.

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