Many medicines, as well as prohibited harmful substances, are all termed "poison" under Australian legislation. COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Facebook users have been sharing a video that claims the Australian government has admitted that COVID-19 vaccines are a type of poison. The original poster makes this allegation by visiting the official government website where the country's COVID-19 vaccine supply and administration authorization document is published. Similar videos are up on BitChute – a video-sharing platform known for sharing conspiracy theories – many of which have also been shared on Facebook. The authorization document is accessible to everyone in PDF format. It does refer to the COVID-19 vaccines as "poison." However, the meanings of poison are defined under Schedules 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of Australia's 2014 Medicines and Poisons Act. They include pharmacy medicines, pharmacist-only medicines, prescription-only medicines, substances with low and high potential to cause harm (including literal poisons), controlled drugs, and prohibited substances. According to the Australian Poison Standard, COVID-19 vaccines are classified as a poison under Schedule 4: "Prescription only medicines, or Prescription Animal Remedy." This means that individuals cannot inject the vaccines themselves, and they need to be administered by trained professionals only. The vaccines are also not available for sale at local shops. Post-vaccination side effects can include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, chills, and pain at the injection site. Efficacy rates of COVID-19 vaccines range from 80 to 95 percent. Most vaccines being administered worldwide are safe and approved for emergency use by World Health Organization or other respective national bodies. Post-vaccination COVID-19 infections and deaths are rare and often due to specific underlying health conditions and comorbidities. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.