A Sydney man who received four doses of coronavirus vaccine has defended his decision on The Project to mixed reactions.
Tom Lee rejected suggestions from Waleed Aly that he could have been taking vaccine doses from someone else who needed the jab.
“I don’t think I was. I was as entitled to Pfizer as anyone else. I had the AstraZeneca, I took the risk with AstraZeneca as other people are doing and I thought that I earned the right to Pfizer by doing that,” he said.
While most under-40s struggle to get one Covid-19 vaccine shot, 34-year-old Sydneysider Tom Lee has managed to have four.
He’d already picked up two shots of AstraZeneca and as of this week, he’s scored two Pfizer. We chat with Tom to find out why… #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/Vg9Sfozw9n
— The Project (@theprojecttv) July 15, 2021
“I have been telling people and there are a range of reactions to it. I just wanted to be fully vaccinated and have as many antibodies against the coronavirus as I could. We are in the middle of an outbreak here and I am feeling pretty good about it now.
“For that last Pfizer shot that I had last Monday I had to go through south west Sydney and I was a bit spooked, I thought, ‘God are the three jabs I have had enough?’ but now I feel like I could go for a walk through south west Sydney and I’ll be alright,” he said.
Mr Lee said he did his homework before getting the jabs and found that mixing vaccines was an effective way to immunise people against the virus, though Australian health officials haven’t endorsed this yet.
“I didn’t go into it blind there have been studies on mixing the vaccines. I read the summary about a study done in England where they were mixing AstraZeneca with Pfizer and the results were good. Apparently 10 times the amount of antibodies in the mix than anyone was getting on plain AstraZeneca. When the opportunity to get Pfizer came up I thought, ‘let’s go, let’s do it, let’s get as many antibodies as you can get’,” he said.
“I read today that one of the medical workers in Sydney who was fully vaccinated has got the coronavirus, maybe if she did the same thing I did then she wouldn’t have got the virus.”
In reality, the trials studying the benefits of mixing vaccines involved the administration of one dose of each vaccine, rather than the two full courses that Mr Lee had.
Additionally, a small percentage of fully vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID-19, which may be due to the person becoming infected before the body has built up enough protection against the virus.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, recently discouraged individuals from deciding for themselves to get third or fourth doses of either vaccine after receiving a full course of one vaccine.
“It’s a little bit of a dangerous trend here where people are in a … data-free, evidence-free zone as far as mix and match,” she said. “It will be a chaotic situation in countries if citizens start, you know, deciding when and who should be taking a second, or a third or a fourth dose.”
— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) July 12, 2021
An OverSixty reader even hopped online to email us directly about the controversial segment.
“Just saw on The Project an interview with a man under 50 years old who claims to have had 2 AstraZeneca vaccines and 2 Pfizer vaccines,” wrote the OverSixty reader.
“The Project treated it as funny. In my view they should have condemned him for 1: having Pfizer at his age and 2: for having two lots of vaccine. That amounts to stealing someone else’s vaccines. I hope he is made to pay for the extra vaccines, at least.”
This article originally appeared in Over60.