TGA rules initially prohibited alcohol, tobacco, or registered medicines from being offered as rewards to those who had received full COVID-19 vaccination. Accordingly, they had told the Prince Alfred Hotel in Port Melbourne to stop offering complimentary alcoholic beverages to vaccinated individuals. Following Prime Minsterial intervention the TGA now allows alcohol as a reward for COVID-19 vaccination.
Mr Morrison said while he understood the rule, the crackdown on free beers was “a bit heavy-handed”. Health Minister Greg Hunt has now spoken to the TGA about relaxing the rules.
In response to Ministerial directives the TGA now allows alcohol as a reward for COVID-19 vaccination via the Therapeutic Goods (Restricted Representations – COVID-19 Vaccines) Permission (No. 2) 2021.
The caveat is that the offer of alcohol cannot encourages excessive or rapid consumption of alcohol, or have a strong or evident appeal to minors, and must comply with Responsible Service of Alcohol requirements.
One wonders how many people will be encouraged to get two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine so they can get a free beer? Are we now going to see drinkers embarking on free, government-endorsed, pub crawls of establishments offering alcohol vaccination “rewards”?
Also, is the focus on individual benefit the right approach? It’s interesting to contrast the government’s advertising focus on individuals (arm yourself) with other advertising (Message from Victoria) that focuses on community benefit.
- Have you got your COVID-19 vaccine yet? – (medreach.com.au)
- TGA lifts ban on GPs promoting COVID-19 vaccines – (medreach.com.au)