Professor Skerritt told the ABC on Wednesday the campaign was “quite misleading” because it gave people a long list of deaths that were not caused by vaccines.
The text message said “Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccines Adverse Events Report” and linked to a campaign site that used the TGA’s logo and the Commonwealth coat of arms in a way that looked like the medical regulator’s own site.
The site listed 448 deaths as a “reported outcome” after vaccination with AstraZeneca or Pfizer without telling people that most of this tally comprised deaths from other causes.
Professor Skerritt said the “adverse outcomes” were investigated by an independent panel that found only nine of the deaths could be attributed to the vaccines in some way.
“When we look down at cause and effect, we believe that there’s a total of nine reports of deaths that can be associated to vaccines, and this is against the background of 20 million doses of vaccines given in Australia,” he told the ABC.
“When you have 3000 people dying every week of the year, and especially with vaccines given among older people, it’s not surprising that, coincidentally, there are hundreds of people who, sadly, die within days of being vaccinated.”
Doctors certified 385.6 deaths on average each day from all causes last year, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in March.
Mr Kelly said he was yet to hear from the TGA and had included disclosures on the campaign site, saying Australians had to be offered “informed consent” for medical intervention such as vaccination.
The site, however, does not include any context to explain that adverse events do not mean deaths were caused by or related to a vaccination.
In a challenge to the major parties, Mr Kelly said he would introduce a bill to Parliament to end the exemption from the Privacy Act and Spam Act if he knew it would have the numbers to be passed.
“If the Liberal and Labor parties agreed to the bill, I’d be the first one to support it,” he said.
The campaign texts appear likely to continue if the TGA does not find a way to act, with Mr Kelly saying the UAP could spend as much at the next election as it did at the last one. Mr Palmer donated more than $83.6 million to the party ahead of the May 2019 election.
Mr Kelly said he was not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 and was instead taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Ivermectin.
Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has said there is no evidence Ivermectin offers any benefit in preventing COVID-19.