Barrister Peter King, appearing for construction worker Mr Kassam, said it will be argued Mr Hazzard failed to investigate or inquire as to alternative treatment methods for COVID-19.
He asked vaccine expert Professor Kristine Macartney, a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), about the opinion of a professor of nutrition that zinc, vitamin D and vitamin C “would be safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 patients”.
“No, I don’t agree with that,” Professor Macartney said.
Mr King raised a range of other drugs, including ivermectin – which is commonly used to treat parasites including worms – hydroxychloroquine, aspirin, asthma medication singulair, and the antibiotic doxycycline.
Professor Macartney said she has not personally been involved in any studies about the drugs’ effectiveness in treating COVID-19, but she has apprised herself of all the available evidence and reviews.
Asked about the effects of COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant women, including one of the plaintiffs, Professor Macartney said there is “a growing body of evidence on the safety of vaccination in pregnancy”, leading to the recommendation that pregnant women receive the vaccination.
She said if a pregnant woman becomes infected with the virus “there is quite significant evidence of risk to the pregnant woman and the foetus”, including miscarriage.
Professor Macartney said COVID-19 vaccines have had one of the largest clinical trials of any vaccine in history, and rejected the contention that they are an “experiment”.
NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said vaccination is associated with a reduction in onward transmission, which could stop a worker from catching the virus and spreading it to their household.
In written submissions, lawyers for aged care worker Ms Henry included a lengthy description of the process of injecting a vaccine into someone’s arm, describing it as an “invasive medical procedure”.
The submissions also reference the Magna Carta, which is said to confer a common law right to work, and a recent dissenting decision by one member of the Fair Work Commission, which criticised mandatory vaccination.
More than 45,000 people watched a YouTube live stream of the proceeding on Thursday, after the link was shared on social media.
NSW Health announced on Thursday that there have been 337 COVID-related deaths in NSW since June 16, when the latest outbreak began, and 56,500 cases of the illness in the same period.
There are 1090 people in hospital in NSW receiving COVID-19 treatment, including 213 in intensive care.
The hearing continues.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.