Following submissions by Avant, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has updated its guidelines around advertising COVID-19 vaccination services, and the Australian Department of Health has provided compliant materials for practices to use.
Many practices were having to address patient complaints about not being able to receive the Pfizer vaccine when arriving for appointments. General practices have only been able to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine and GPs wanted to put up notices stating this, but could not do so due to the TGA’s advertising rules.
Advocacy for change successful
After receiving many calls from members, we raised the issue with both the TGA and Department of Health on 19 May, asking if practices could make factual statements that they can only provide a certain brand of vaccine.
Pleasingly, on 25 May, information was published on the Department of Health website, in the form of posters and permissible wording, that allows GPs and practices to advise the public that they are providing a specific brand of vaccine. These include:
The TGA also confirmed they have updated their guidance, noting “Government advertising content is available to assist you to advertise COVID-19 vaccines without breaking the rules”. We encourage you and your staff to familiarise yourselves with the rules on the use of these Government materials.
A win for the profession
It is always gratifying when policy makers and regulators listen and respond to the voice of doctors. We are grateful for having access to these key decision makers, who we have worked with throughout the pandemic to get the best outcomes for our members, the profession and the community.
If you have any queries about the vaccine rollout, visit our COVID-19 FAQs page or call us on 1800 128 268.