TGA Professor John Skerritt Image: AAP

On Wednesday night, the phones of hundreds of thousands of Australians lit up with a breaking news notification about the deaths of two men. Usually, this unfortunate but relatively common event would not inspire widespread media coverage.

But by chance, the deceased were among the 2 million Australians who had received a COVID-19 vaccine. “Two NSW men die after receiving COVID-19 vaccination as TGA begins review,” a headline from the ABC read, with similar coverage across Australia’s media.

If you read the article, it repeatedly states that any link between the deaths and the jab is unproven and would be investigated. As it turns out, there probably wasn’t a link. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration Professor John Skerritt said that “current evidence does not suggest a likely association”.