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Advertising COVID-19 vaccines to the Australian public

There are rules that you must follow if you wish to advertise COVID-19 vaccines

22 February 2021

The advertising of prescription medicines (including vaccines) to consumers is generally prohibited in Australia. However, the use of specific promotional materials to advertise COVID-19 vaccines has been authorised to support the roll-out of the vaccines across Australia.

As part of the Australian Government Department of Health, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates the advertising of therapeutic goods in Australia. This fact sheet explains how vaccine providers and other parties may lawfully advertise the COVID-19 vaccine without risking penalties for breaching the prohibition on advertising prescription medicines.

Advertisers must not:

  • use self-developed advertising about COVID-19 vaccines

Advertisers can:

  • use Australian Government produced materials to promote COVID-19 vaccines
  • use materials produced by Australian state or territory governments to promote COVID-19 vaccines
  • provide factual information to assist the public in obtaining the vaccine such as:
    • the location of the COVID-19 vaccination service
    • times vaccines are administered or opening hours of the service provider
    • whether there is a need for an appointment to receive the vaccination and how to make one

When using government materials, advertisers must:

  • ensure that the materials are:
    • genuine
    • not altered or added to, other than to record the factual information described above i.e. logistical information
    • not used in a way that may alter the take-home message for consumers, through either placement of the materials or proximity to other promotional materials

Government produced materials may be used in all communication channels including on websites, as flyers, or as posters as well as in the windows and on the walls at vaccine providers, clinics, pharmacies, and other businesses. Businesses with an interest in disseminating information about the availability of the vaccine may also use the materials in their newsletters, social media and emails.

In using government materials to promote COVID-19 vaccines, advertisers must be careful not to add:

  • the tradename and/or active ingredient of the specific vaccine or other information that might enable consumers to identify the particular vaccine or the manufacturer of the vaccine
  • statements or the implication that harmful effects will result from not receiving the vaccine
  • statements or the implication that the vaccine offered is superior to other vaccines (e.g. a statement about the efficacy against a particular strain)
  • incentives to encourage a consumer to obtain the service or vaccine
  • any comparisons between vaccines (even if supported by evidence)

The TGA has powers to issue directions to advertisers, impose fines or pursue court action for breaking the advertising laws.

Further information

  • The Australian Government materials on COVID-19 vaccines are available from:
  • You should use the appropriate Australian Government or Australian state or territory government materials in the same way to promote influenza and other vaccines.
  • If you have questions about the legal requirements regarding advertising of therapeutic goods including vaccines, please lodge an advertising enquiry online with the TGA.

Examples

Yes No Yes

Facebook post

Downtown Medical Centre

You can now get vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Downtown Medical Centre. Available Monday to Friday from 9am - 9pm. Call 9999 9999 for an appointment.

Facebook post (all content self developed)

Downtown Medical Centre

A COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect you and your family from falling seriously ill!

You can now get your COVID-19 vaccination at the Downtown Medical Centre. Available Monday to Friday from 9am - 9pm. Just walk-in and enjoy a free cappuccino while you wait.

Video of patient receiving a vaccine and saying "Wow that didn't hurt at all!".

Facebook post

Downtown Pharmacy

You can now get the COVID-19 vaccine at Downtown Pharmacy. Available Monday to Friday from 9am - 9pm. Call 9999 9990 for an appointment.

<image - Australian Government social media tile showing vaccine is free>

Other regulatory requirements

Advertising to consumers, whether for a product or service, is regulated under the Australian Consumer Law.

Registered health professionals are also subject to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service.