Sydney woman asked her killer if he was okay before stabbing

Sydney stabber Mert Ney has revealed the woman he murdered asked him if he was okay in the moments before he took her life.

Ney painted Michaela Dunn’s final moments in graphic detail at his sentence hearing in the Supreme Court.

Michaela Dunn was stabbed to death in Sydney last August. (9News)

Ms Dunn’s mother Joanne was so distressed she left midway through his evidence.

Ney told the court Ms Dunn opened the door and when he sat on the couch asked him at least twice: “Are you okay?”

The killer told the court he took a knife out and “she screamed pretty loud”.

When asked what happened next, he warned the court “it’s pretty violent”.

“Just started stabbing her in the neck to make her be quiet,” Ney said.

“I stabbed her everywhere.”

Mert Ney was confronted and stopped in a citizens' arrest in Sydney CBD.
Mert Ney was charged with murder following a stabbing rampage in Sydney’s CBD in 2019. (Nine)

He was asked by his barrister Belinda Rigg, SC, what he was thinking and why he did it.

“Just to make her be silent, I thought the cops were going to run in on me.”

The court heard Ney was worried the police were after him because he had assaulted his sister.

After Ms Dunn died, Ney said he decided “this is the point of no return”.

“I need to fully commit,” he said.

When asked what he meant, Ney said “to being killed, there is no living now”.

Mert Ney is held down and searched by police following a stabbing rampage in Sydney's CBD.
During his sentence hearing, Ney told the court he has “no views of extremist things”. (9News)

Ney said he only yelled “Allahu Akbar” on the street so that the police would shoot him.

Crown Prosecutor Craig Everson put to Ney that it was a planned “suicide mission”.

“I have no views of extremist things,” he said.

Ney appeared frustrated at the repeated reference to terrorism and asked to make a comment before his barrister asked for a brief adjournment.

The sentence hearing continues.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Waratahs chairman Roger Davis returns serve at Rob Penney as Michael Cheika asked for advice

Asked to clarify what was inaccurate or misleading about Penney’s comments, Davis repeated that there was “nothing more to add”.

Even Brumbies coach Dan McKellar went in to bat for Penney on Wednesday, hinting that he had been hard done by.

Waratahs chairman Roger Davis (right).Credit:Glenn Hunt

“I’m not in the inner sanctum there, but there have been some decisions that have been made over the last 18 months to two years that have probably impacted on Rob’s ability to do the job that he wanted to do,” McKellar said. “I feel for him.”

Waratahs supporters have been demanding answers all week from the NSW Rugby board about how the situation could get so out of hand. Penney has claimed he “without a doubt” felt like a scapegoat for issues out of his control.

As NSW prepare to face the Brumbies on Friday, NSW officials are piecing together how to replace Penney and have sounded out a favourite son for guidance.

Sources with knowledge of the situation have told the Herald that NSW Rugby boss Paul Doorn has sought out Cheika, who won a title with the Waratahs in 2014.


It is understood Doorn wanted to seek Cheika’s view on whether a director of rugby would be appropriate for the Waratahs, as well as getting an understanding of how he thought the coaching structure would work best in the future.

It is unclear whether Cheika would be prepared to step back in and help out at the Waratahs but clearly the conversation shows his opinion is highly valued at a time when the organisation needs all the help it can get.

Doorn said on Monday a decision was some weeks away regarding a new coaching structure and that a head coach would not be appointed for a few months.

McKellar has no doubt candidates from all over the world will be putting their hand up for the vacant Waratahs job.

“I can’t imagine there being too many issues with getting quality candidates,” McKellar said. “Do you want plenty of experience and a high-profile [coach] or do you want someone that knows the Sydney and NSW rugby landscape and someone who can get in there and turn it around and get buy-in from players?

“There’s been plenty of names we all know and have been mentioned that will throw their hat in the ring.”

Asked who he’d have on the list, McKellar replied: “Darren Coleman, Simon Cron, Jason Gilmore is an outstanding coach, Chris Whitaker, John Manenti. There’s a lot of very very good coaches in Australia. We’ve just got to be prepared to provide the right person with an opportunity. Coaches are no different to players; until you give them a chance and opportunity, you’ll never know how good they are.”

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Asked about MPs spreading COVID misinformation, Michael McCormack says ‘facts can sometimes be contentious’

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s refusal to condemn COVID misinformation has been labelled a “dangerous” failure by political opponents.

Liberal MP Craig Kelly has been accused of spreading misleading information about unproven treatments for the coronavirus pandemic. 

He also recently posted on Facebook a list of statistics claiming that a move to require children to wear face masks would amount to “child abuse”.

But Mr McCormack has denied there is a need to censure Mr Kelly’s social media activity, saying he doesn’t support “censorship”.

“Facts are sometimes contentious and what you might think is right – somebody else might think is completely untrue – that is part of living in a democratic country,” he told the ABC.

“I don’t think we should have that sort of censorship in our society.”

Labor’s health spokesperson Chris Bowen has strongly criticised Mr McCormack’s defence of Mr Kelly. Mr Bowen said he was concerned Mr Kelly was spreading “dangerous” misinformation.

“Craig Kelly has engaged in a systemic and deliberate attempt to undermine our medical health professionals,” he told reporters.

“[He] is a menace, and at every turn, Scott Morrison, and now Michael McCormack, acting prime minister, have failed to call him out.

“It is dangerous because this is a time for confidence in our decision makers,” he added.

Mr McCormack later defended his refusal to criticise Mr Kelly. 

“You might look out there and say the sky is blue … but I can see from her that it is grey,” he said. 

“I mean there are a lot of subjective things. I was asked about a colleague who puts material up on Facebook – well some of what my colleague puts up is very much true.

“But people on the Twitter sphere, they don’t always like it – well toughen up I say.” 

Mr McCormack has also faced criticism from human rights groups for comparing the riot at the US Capitol to Black Lives Matter protests last year. 

Liberal MP Craig Kelly.


Mr McCormack said he didn’t agree with Mr Kelly’s statement that a compulsory mask mandate for children would amount to child abuse.

But he said he wouldn’t call for Mr Kelly to take down the post. 


“It’s a matter for Craig Kelly. I’m a former newspaper editor I don’t believe in censorship,” he said. 

“But you’ve always got to be sensible about what you do put online.” 

The Australian Medical Association on Tuesday called for the Australian government to invest in “robust online advertising” to counter health misinformation on the internet, including social media channels.

“The internet has the potential to significantly magnify health misinformation campaigns,” Dr Omar Khorshid said.

“We have seen this with the anti-vaccination movement, and the countless conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic that circulate constantly on the internet.” 

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Victorian holidaymakers asked to check Inverloch sheds with Patricia Backhurst missing from Gippsland

Victorian holidaymakers have been urged to check their homes, sheds and yards as the search for a missing 81-year-old reaches its ninth day.

Patricia Backhurst who was last seen around Screw Creek, east of the seaside town of Inverloch, about 5.23pm on Wednesday March 17.

There are serious concerns for her welfare as she has dementia and has not been seen since.

Police are expecting a large number of Victorians to travel to their holiday houses this weekend and they have been asked to check their property for Patricia.

They have also been urged to keep an eye out on bush walking and beach tracks.

The search for Patricia has been focused in the Inverloch township, the creek where she was last seen and rural properties.

Police Air Wing, the mounted branch, Search and Rescue, the CFA and Parks Victoria have all been involved in the search.

“Patricia, who is physically fit for her age, is familiar with the area and it is not unusual for her to do extended local bush walks,” police said in a statement.

“She was possibly wearing blue jeans and runners.”

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Queensland arrivals in NSW asked to be vigilant after COVID-19 case in Brisbane

Recent arrivals from Queensland into NSW are being asked by public health officials to be vigilant after a 26-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19, as a locally acquired case, in Brisbane.

“Should Queensland Health identify any close contact venues, anyone who attended those venues during the relevant times is prohibited from entering NSW,” NSW Health said in a statement on Friday. “If they are already in NSW they must immediately get tested and go into isolation for 14 days.”

NSW Health has issued a public health alert after Queensland recorded a locally acquired case of COVID-19 in Brisbane. Credit:Getty

Queensland Health on Friday night classified one venue as requiring a “close contact” response.

Anyone who attended Mamma’s Italian Restaurant, 69 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe, in Brisbane’s north-east, between 12.30pm and 3.10pm on March 21 must quarantine at home immediately for 14 days since visiting, even if a negative COVID-19 test result is received, and complete a contact tracing self-assessment if not already contacted by Queensland Health.

Eight further locations across Brisbane have been identified as “casual contact” venues, including a Westfield, Aldi and Bunnings, and another two locations as “low risk”.

NSW Health said: “Anyone who has attended casual contact venues listed on the [Queensland Health] website during the relevant times is asked to immediately get tested regardless of symptoms and self-isolate until a negative result is returned.”

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man, a landscape gardener from Stafford in the city’s north, developed symptoms on Monday and was tested at Nundah on Thursday.

He returned a positive result for the UK strain of the virus.

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Backpackers allege they were asked to work half-naked, offered money for sex acts on Australian farm 

Backpackers allege a Queensland farmer asked them to work half-naked, exposed his genitals to some of them and suggested to two women they engage in sexual acts with him for money. 

In September 2020, Nirmal Chohan pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking and observation or recording in breach of privacy against German backpacker Paula. 

But police say nothing prevents a person with this conviction from hiring young women under the federal government’s visa program. 

Chohan denies any wrongdoing against Paula and other backpackers in this story. 

In August 2019, Paula was a world away from her home in Germany, working on Chohan’s sugar cane farm in Mareeba — an hour west of Cairns. 

One of her tasks was to clean a tractor. 

Chohan allegedly told Paula — who was 19 at the time — to do it in her underwear. 

“He kept saying all the other backpackers do it as well … and he doesn’t want his car to be dirty when I get back inside in my dirty clothes,” she said. 

Paula said the request was even more perplexing because both Chohan’s vehicle and living quarters were “completely dirty”, with rats making their way around her room. 

She cleaned the tractor fully-clothed at first — but realising she would get “wet and dirty”, Paula took her trousers off. 

“I did it in just my T-shirt and underwear because nobody was around and, I don’t know, I can’t even explain why I did it,” she said. 

At breakfast, the day before she left, she alleges Chohan exposed his genitals to her. 

She said Chohan, who had come from the bathroom, told her to grab him a towel from a nearby chair. 

“I just stood up, grabbed a towel for him and kept eating because I was just so shocked,” she said. 

Overnight, Paula found courage to ask that she be taken back to Cairns. 

She went straight to the Cairns police and made a complaint. 

Police told the ABC the photos were of Paula in her underwear.

Paula never ended up getting what she went to the farm for — her second-year visa — because she couldn’t bring herself to complete three months of farm work in rural or regional Australia, as required by the federal government.

“In the end that’s all I wanted, but it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I had too big of a trauma to even think about going back on a farm,” she said. 

On September 24, 2020, Chohan pleaded guilty to unlawful stalking and observation or recording in breach of privacy against Paula in the Mareeba Magistrates Court, and was sentenced to 15 months’ probation over the photographs.

Chohan did not want to be interviewed by the ABC, but confirmed Paula had worked on his farm. He denied asking her to work in her underwear and exposing his genitals to her. 

He said the photos of Paula could have been taken by trail cameras, which sometimes would get sent to his mobile phone. 

Trail cameras are activated by motion and are often used to capture footage of wildlife.

Chohan told the ABC he pleaded guilty because it would have been costly to fight the charges. 

Tablelands Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Devine said he was not aware of any laws preventing a person with a conviction from hiring backpackers under the Government’s visa scheme. 

“I don’t think there’s anything that prevents him from doing that,” he said. 

In April 2020 — in between Paula reporting Chohan to the police and his conviction — American backpacker Maddie worked on his property for her visa, unaware police were looking into him. 

Maddie, 30, said Chohan made her feel uncomfortable. She alleged Chohan suggested that she give him a massage that involved a sexual act. 

“He was like, ‘oh, you look like a very spiritual girl, you look like you’d be really good at massages, you should give me a massage and you could do a ‘happy ending’. I could give you money, but you could keep it a secret. You can keep a secret, can’t you?’,” she said. 

Maddie said she refused. 

In the living room the next morning, Maddie alleges Chohan walked in front of her with his genitals exposed. 

“I felt like he was purposely walking around in front of me with his penis out, just wearing a T-shirt,” she said. 

Chohan said he did not remember whether Maddie had worked for him. 

When the ABC said it had seen a photo Maddie had taken of mail addressed to Chohan, he said since his door was often unlocked it was possible people entered the property without him knowing.

Belgian backpacker Catherine also said Chohan made her feel uncomfortable.

She came to know Chohan in July 2019, when going for a restaurant gig on Gumtree. 

Catherine was told the job wasn’t yet available, but she could wait it out while doing farm work on Chohan’s property. 

She says Chohan allegedly approached her with requests to clean sprinklers in a bikini. She declined.

On her first of several days off, Catherine drove to Cairns — only to receive a call from Chohan days later, saying her help was no longer needed. 

Catherine asked if he could contribute to fuel costs for her to come and fetch her things. She alleges he then asked for a sexual favour. 

“He said, ‘I’m not going to give you any cash for gas but if you want some money, we can meet at my place and you do a massage with a hand job at the end,” she said. 

Chohan denied telling Catherine she could do sexual favours for him. 

He alleges that he and Catherine had an argument when she entered his house to collect her things without his permission. 

Dutch backpacker Madjella worked on Chohan’s farm in October 2018. 

She alleged Chohan asked her to clean the sprinklers in her swimwear — and when she agreed, he took it further. 

Madjella alleged Chohan asked her to wear a G-string, arguing her bikini bottoms had been wetting his car seat. 

She alleged he offered her $30 per hour instead of the original $20. She accepted the offer. 

Chohan denied asking Madjella to work in her underwear and being naked in front of her. 

Madjella left the farm that day, but didn’t immediately make a complaint. 

Months later — when she read about another backpacker’s experience with Chohan on social media — she changed her mind. 

Madjella said she attended a Melbourne police station, asking officers to investigate but the officer she spoke to seemed “busy” and wouldn’t take her statement. 

Madjella said she was told to contact Cairns police and come back to the Melbourne station for a statement. 

“I thought, ‘why can’t you take my statement, put it somewhere and try to find out which policeman it is’,” she said. 

“They can contact each other, right?” 

Madjella never followed through because she was due to leave Australia. 

Victoria Police said it takes reports “very seriously”. 

The allegations in Choban’s case are of inappropriate conduct — but Detective Senior Sergeant Devine said in other cases very serious allegations had been raised, where backpackers’ personal safety was “a huge issue for the police”.

“They’re all trying to work for an employer in Australia to get a number of days required to obtain their visa,” he said. 

He said backpackers had no way of telling their employer had been accused of inappropriate conduct or had had any convictions.

“I’m not aware of any organisation or area, where that information is available to them, but I can certainly see that would be definitely beneficial,” he said. 

Alison Rahill, the executive officer of the Anti-Slavery Taskforce of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, said other government agriculture schemes seemed to have more “transparency”. 

For instance, the government publishes a list of approved employers for the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Program. 

“At least the government knows who [the employers] are,” Ms Rahill said. 

“For backpackers there’s not an equivalent list of either registered or vetted employers.”

The Department of Home Affairs refused to say whether employers who had been found guilty by law of wrongful conduct towards a migrant worker were allowed to continue hiring them under the visa scheme. 

However, the department said “all workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status”. 

“The Department of Home Affairs works with the Fair Work Ombudsman to support and encourage foreign nationals to come forward with any evidence or information about exploitation,” a spokesperson said. 

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A game of cat and mouse. We asked an expert how China’s Internet censorship really works

In March 2021, the Russian authorities launched another attack on Western Internet services. Following its attempt to throttle Twitter, the federal censor, Roskomnazor, threatened to block the network in Russia entirely unless it removes certain “illegal content” (which includes, as it turns out, the accounts of independent media outlets). There’s a number of reasons why a “Great Russian Firewall” based on the Chinese system is impossible in Russia. But many Russian officials, and pro-Kremlin commentators and media outlets, have long expressed their approval of the “Chinese model” of Internet regulation and called for the introduction of at least some of its elements in Russia. To find out more about how Internet censorship really works in modern China, Meduza spoke to Leonid Kovachich, a specialist on China and digital technologies. 

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Redland community asked for input on future of 62-hectare Birkdale Land Precinct

Redland City Council is seeking ambitious ideas from residents to transform a 62-hectare block of land in Birkdale into a major community precinct.

The land on Old Cleveland Road, known as the Birkdale Land Precinct, was formerly owned by the federal government and used as a radio communications centre during World War II.

Australia’s first news of the end of the war was transmitted from the site on August 15, 1945.

It is also the site of the heritage-listed Willard’s Farm, also known as The Pines, dating back to the 1860s.

Redland Mayor Karen Williams told ABC Radio Brisbane that she had been lobbying to purchase the Commonwealth land for a decade to prevent it from being chopped up into a housing estate.

The Commonwealth radio site has not been open to the community, Cr Williams said.

About two years ago, a journalist tipped her off that the federal government planned to sell the land off on the open market for 400 residential lots.

“I think I’ve spoken to four or five, maybe six ministers about this land in my time. I’ve given petitions to two prime ministers, both Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull, and finally, it came into our hands in 2019.”

The council also bought neighbouring Willard’s Farm to prevent it from being converted into 12 residential lots.

The council has now launched a seven-week community engagement period to gather public opinions on how the land should be used.

With much of the land protected under environmental or heritage principles, Cr Williams said there were still “great opportunities to tell all the rest of the world what Redlands is all about”.

Cr Williams cited precincts such as South Bank in Brisbane and The Strand in Townsville as ambitious recreation areas that stood on a national scale as potential inspiration.

The council hired five urban design teams to develop themed concepts for the site across topics such as education, agriculture, heritage, environment and adventure, to inspire ideas from the community.

“It’s to create conversation — it’s not a plan, but we want people to think big because you don’t get these opportunities many times in a generation,” Cr Williams said.

Full details of the community consultation are available on the Redlands City Council website.

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Marine Who Fought At Iwo Jima: Japanese Soldier Asked Me for Hot Chocolate

Here’s What You Need To Remember: “There’s humor in combat. Every man that’s been in combat knows that sometimes funny things happen.”

The Battle of Iwo Jima, which began Feb. 19, 1945, was one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history, as former Cpl. Don Graves knows firsthand and will never forget.

He’ll also never forget the time a Japanese soldier smelled hot chocolate being brewed near him and called out for him to bring him some. The moment, as he recounted in a video posted to the Marine Corps Facebook page Tuesday, was almost like the Christmas truce that wasn’t.

Sitting in a fox hole with two other Marines on the fifth week of the battle, he said, Graves decided to make himself some hot chocolate. “So my other two buddies, they said, ‘make enough for three of us.'”

So there he was, slicing up his chocolate ration with a Ka-Bar and chopping it into a powder. Then he cut off a piece of his Composition C2 demolition charge and used it to light a flame.

“Just a nice little fire going, and we sat there and we watched it,” he said. “And then all of sudden I could smell hot chocolate.”

Of course, so could everyone else, including enemy soldiers.

A few minutes later, he heard a Japanese voice calling out to him, “hey Marine, very good chocoletto. You bring chocoletto here.”

“If you want chocoletto, you come here and get it,” he said back. “He says, ‘oh no, you bring here,'” Graves said, laughing.

“There’s humor in combat. Every man that’s been in combat knows that sometimes funny things happen.”

This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2019 and is being republished due to reader’s interest.

Media: Wikipedia

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Covid-19 vaccination: Health Ministry answers frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The Centre has come out with detailed frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Covid-19 vaccination, in an attempt to answer many questions that are being asked by the general public.

Here are the answers to the questions on Covid-19 vaccination:

Should you avoid alcohol after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine?

The Health Ministry says that as per experts “there is no evidence of alcohol impairing the effectiveness of the vaccine”.

A healthcare worker prepares to administer a vaccine at a private hospital in New Delhi. (AP Photo: Altaf Qadri)

Claims on social media suggested the Covid-19 vaccine could affect female fertility. Is it true?

The Health Ministry says rumours or social media posts suggesting Covid-19 vaccines could cause infertility “are not true and totally baseless”.

“None of the available vaccines affects fertility. All vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects. Vaccines are authorised for use only after their safety and efficacy are assured,” the ministry says.

What are the precautions one needs to take after receiving the vaccine?

The Health Ministry has assured that both the vaccines are safe but in “case of any discomfort or complaint”, the beneficiaries are advised to visit the nearest health facility or call the health worker whose phone number is given in the CoWIN SMS received after vaccination.

What medications should be avoided before taking the Covid-19 vaccine and for how long?

The Health Ministry says there are no such instructions: One can take one’s regular medication uninterruptedly. Just inform the vaccinator about the medicines you consume.

Senior citizens after receiving the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

The Health Ministry has advised caution in vaccinating persons with a history of bleeding or coagulation disorder. How does a person know if he/she has a coagulation disorder? What tests can be conducted?

The Ministry has said that in a few bleeding disorders, like haemophilia, persons should take the vaccine “under the supervision of their treating physician”.

Also, patients who are admitted to hospital or ICU and have bleeding problems “should delay the vaccination till they are discharged”.

However, several people with heart and brain disorders are on blood thinners like aspirin and anti-platelet drugs “can continue with their medicines and have the vaccines”, and that vaccines are absolutely safe for this category.

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If I suffer from hypertension, Diabetic Mellitus, Chronic Kidney Disease, heart disease or lipid disorders, can I safely take this vaccine?

Overall, the vaccine is safe and efficacious in adults with comorbidity, the Health Ministry has said, adding that the maximum benefit of getting the Covid vaccine ‘is for those who have such comorbidities”.

“However, if you are concerned for any specific reason, please consult your doctor,” it has recommended.

The health advisory also states that those with immunity issues should be cautious about taking the vaccine. What are the markers of ‘immunity issues’?

The Health Ministry says immune issues are of two types: one, immunosuppression due to any disease such as AIDS, and people on immunosuppressant drugs such as anti-cancer drugs, steroids; second, immunodeficiency in people who suffers from some defect in the body’s protective system such as congenital immunodeficiency.

“Currently, available Covid vaccines do not have any live virus and therefore individuals with immune issues can have the vaccine safely. But the vaccine may not be as effective in them,” the Health Ministry has said.

It also emphasised that this category of patients “should inform the vaccinator about the medicines they consume and if they are suffering from any known immune issues”. “The vaccinator should have a record of one’s medical condition,” the Health Ministry has said.

Registration for the Covid-19 vaccine drive, in Ahmedabad. (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

Is the vaccine contraindicated in a person with chronic diseases?

Chronic diseases and morbidities like cardiac, neurological, pulmonary, pulmonary, metabolic, renal and malignancies, etc. are not contraindicated, the Health Ministry has reiterated.

“In fact, the benefit of Covid vaccines to reduce the risk of severe Covid disease and death is for those who have these co-morbidities,” it said.

If I had Covid-19 and was treated, should I take the vaccine?

The Health Ministry has said that “development of immunity or duration of protection” after Covid-19 exposure is not established; therefore it is recommended to receive the vaccine even after Covid-19 infection. “Wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from Covid symptoms before getting the vaccine,” it has recommended.

I have an allergy to a specific drug. Can I get vaccinated?

The Health Ministry has listed the category of persons with a history of immediate or delayed onset anaphylaxis or allergic reaction to pharmaceutical products, food items, injectable therapies – as a contraindication. Therefore, this category is not advised to take the vaccine.

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