REVEALED: The ‘utterly insane’ rule which is preventing double-vaccinated Aussies from returning home to the country
- Dozens of double vaccinated Australians are unable to return home under rules
- TGA doesn’t recognise Chinese jab Sinopharm for people under 18 and over 60
- Decision means Aussies innoculated with vaccine are unable to book flights
Dozens of double vaccinated Australians are still unable to get home because of an ‘utterly insane’ government rule.
Australians are once again free to return home and travel the world as long as they are fully immunised against Covid-19, however an age limit imposed on a Chinese vaccine is causing significant problems.
The Sinopharm jab, a state-owned and manufactured jab, is the second most used in China and is recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration – but only for people aged between 18 and 60.
That decision has left several Aussies, including Marijke and Steven Smit, stranded in overseas faced with a lack of available hotel quarantine for supposedly ‘unvaccinated’ travellers.
‘It’s incredibly difficult being stuck in a country and basically having to deal with a very illogical argument that you can’t be considered vaccinated because you’re over 60,’ Ms Smit told Nine News.
‘It’s just utterly insane.’
Marijke and Steven Smit are stranded in China unable to find a flight to come home because they are not recognised as vaccinated by the Australian government
Dozens of double vaccinted Australians are still unable to get home because of an ‘utterly insane’ stipulation in the government’s new rules
The Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by 68 countries and for emergency use by the World Health Organisation.
The Chinese state jab is recognised by the USA, UK and New Zealand for travel without age limits, however Australia bans vaccinated people under 18 and above 60 from entering.
Retiree Judy Smith, who is also stranded in Sri Lanka, said she was hoping to come home to see her grandchildren but instead has to wait for further legislation.
‘What I really want to get across is the disappointment, the rug being pulled out from under us,’ she said.
‘We’re in a worse situation than we were two weeks ago and the government’s just not offering us any hope at all.’
According to WHO, the Sinopharm jab offers ‘slightly lower’ protection against severe illness and hospitalisation than the Australian vaccines of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.
Retiree Judy Smith (pictured), who is stranded in Sri Lanka, said she was hoping to come home to see her grandchildren but instead has to wait for further legislation
There have been increased outbreaks in countries vaccinated with the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, including Bahrain and Seychelles
That is a result of the Chinese-led trial that was ‘not designed and powered to demonstrate efficacy against severe disease in persons with comorbidities, in pregnancy, or in persons aged 60 years and above’.
There have been large outbreaks in countries vaccinated with the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, including Bahrain and Seychelles.
The result means the Smits and Judy Smith are forced to remain overseas until that mandate changes or they are immunised with other vaccines.
Mrs Smit said they are having significant trouble booking flights home, aside from paying for hotel quarantine, because there are an extremely limited number of flights for the unvaccinated – despite the fact they are double jabbed.
‘Since Sydney has opened up it only has 200 places. It’s close to impossible to get tickets,’ she said.
‘I simply cannot. I’ve looked, believe me, I’ve looked at tickets, and I just cannot get anything in the next two, three, four months.
‘It’s literally and then, you know, at the moment, flights have two or three seats for unvaccinated people.’