COVID-19 | TGA issues guidance for advertising of COVID-19 vaccines to Australian public

24 February 2021
Kelly Griffiths, Partner, Melbourne

The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia this week brings both excitement and questions about how healthcare services may advertise or promote the vaccines to the general public. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued guidance to enable vaccine providers, and the broader healthcare sector, to confidently navigate a highly regulated environment, whilst balancing the public health imperative to educate the community.

Direct to consumer advertising of prescription medicines and vaccines to the public is prohibited under Australian law. Advertising of medicines and vaccines to healthcare professionals is also regulated at law and by industry codes of conduct. The regulatory environment for medicines and vaccines promotion in Australia ensures public confidence in how prescribing decisions are made by physicians, and ensures that vulnerable patients are not misled.

In an environment hungry for news on the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and to ensure successful implementation of the COVID-19 immunisation program, the TGA will permit organisations to:

  • use materials produced by the Federal, State or Territory Governments to promote COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • provide factual information regarding the vaccine service, such as the location and operating hours of vaccine administration sites.

These materials may be disseminated through a range of channels, including in-clinic advertising and social media.

When preparing materials for use, organisations must remember that obligations under the Consumer Law and the Act will continue to apply, such as the obligation not to mislead. In addition, organisations must not add anything to the materials that:

  • would enable consumers to identify a particular vaccine (such as a brand name, active ingredient or other information);
  • include a statement or implication that:
    • harmful effects will result from not receiving the vaccine; or
    • that the vaccine offered is superior to other vaccines (for example, any claims about the efficacy of the vaccine against a particular strain of the virus);
  • provide an incentive to encourage a consumer to obtain the service or vaccine (for example, bundle deals); or
  • any comparisons between vaccines, even where those comparative claims may be supported by evidence.

The complete guidance is available at the TGA website:


For details of all our COVID-19 tips and updates, visit the Gadens COVID-19 Hub.

Authored by:

Kelly Griffiths, Partner

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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