Australian man who got four doses of COVID-19 vaccine defends his actions

Tom Lee shared photos on social media.
Tom Lee shared photos on social media. Photo credit: Twitter

An Australian man who received four vaccine jabs against COVID-19 - despite being ineligible - has defended his actions, arguing he "didn't bump anyone" more at risk from the queue.

Tom Lee sparked widespread outrage after it was revealed he had two doses each of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, despite not being eligible or recommended to receive either.

Lee, 34, was inundated with criticism after sharing photos of himself receiving the jabs to social media, with many saying he was effectively taking the vital vaccines away from those in need.

But speaking to local media, the Sydney man argued he was just as entitled to the vaccines as anyone else, and had "earned the right" to be protected.

"I did it because I wanted the best possible protection against the coronavirus," he told the breakfast television show Sunrise.

"I don't feel bad for taking off someone else. I don't think I've pinched it from anyone else."

The 34-year-old said he visited a vaccine centre in Sydney intending to receive his second AstraZeneca shot, but was told it was not available.

"I was put on the spot, I could either go home empty-handed or I could take the Pfizer [vaccine]," he told Sunrise.

"I decided that since I had gone all the way to the vaccination centre, I might as well get the Pfizer."

He said he had heard that combining multiple vaccines had worked overseas and wanted to give it a shot himself.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended for people aged over 60 in Australia , but is currently available to anyone who wants to receive it. However, the Pfizer vaccine is only available to those aged over 40, people who are considered vulnerable, and health and hotel quarantine workers.

But Lee said he believed he had just as much right as anyone else to get the jabs.

"I was as entitled to Pfizer as anyone else... 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 told The Project in Australia. 

"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."