Australia PM cheers Melbourne pub’s beers-for-vaccine offer

Australia’s drug regulator on Friday tweaked its regulations to permit an offer of alcohol for those inoculated against COVID-19 after earlier barring a pub from doing so and prompting the country’s prime minister to step in.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the initiative by Melbourne’s Prince Alfred Hotel to offer complimentary alcohol to COVID-19 vaccinated patrons was a “good hearted” initiative and in the national interest.

He described the Therapeutic Drugs Administration’s (TGA) disapproval as “heavy-handed” during a televised news briefing. The TGA had disapproved of the plan as rules bar the use of alcohol or tobacco as incentives to receive medicines.

“This is a national interest vaccine programme,” Morrison said. “We’ll be making some changes to ensure that these good-hearted, good-natured sort of initiatives that people may take on of their own volition.”

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