It's official – gifts for jabs gets government approval
Doctors, pharmacists and employers can offer incentives to encourage Australians to receive a COVID vaccine after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) this week formally approved the use of "business-led incentives" to boost vaccination numbers.
"Such rewards can be monetary or, for example, include store vouchers, discounts or Frequent Flyer points," the TGA said.
Some restrictions apply. Firms cannot offer alcohol, tobacco or medicines, other than those listed by the TGA. In addition, participating firms must not discriminate between vaccines.
The decision comes as Australia's vaccination rollout struggles to reach the federal government's long-abandoned targets. Supply chain disruptions, changing health advice and hesitancy among some sectors of the community has left just 2.9 per cent of the eligible adult population fully vaccinated.
Qantas, which posted a $1.08 billion half-year loss in February after travel restrictions grounded planes worldwide, has revealed plans to hold a competition for vaccinated travellers.
The airline says it will offer prizes such as unlimited travel for a year, free hotel accommodation and Frequent Flyer points, to those who can demonstrate they've been fully vaccinated.
Other countries have made headlines for offering rewards. The US state of Ohio's Vax-a-Million lottery scheme, offering $US1 million to fully vaccinated residents, has already had several winners.
Do you think we should resort to incentives to boost vaccination rates?