‘Not responsible’: Prime Minister criticised for supporting pub’s beers for jabs offer
The CEO of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association has taken aim at the Prime Minister for backing a pub’s scheme offering free beers for people who get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Prince Alfred Hotel in Port Melbourne offered free pints for people who got the jab after a pop-up vaccination hub opened across the road.
They received a call from the TGA last week informing them that they couldn’t offer free beers in exchange for vaccinations.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has this morning come out in support of the pub.
“The TGA are just doing their job, those rules are there for important reasons, so drug companies can’t offer drugs and cigarettes to people to buy their prescription drugs, so it’s a sensible rule,” he said this morning.
“But in these circumstances the national interest is to get vaccinated, so the PA down there in Melbourne, good on you for getting behind the national effort. We’ll get it sorted, common sense will prevail.”
But CEO of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association, Sam Biondo, says the TGA got it right.
“The … problem is incentivising public health responses through the provision of another harmful substance sends a bit of a mixed message,” he said.
“I understand the Prime Minister’s point of view, he’s eager to see people get vaccinated … and that’s fine.
“But he should actually come and visit some of our residential rehab facilities and treatment services … and see what the end result is of prolonged use of alcohol — it’s terrible.”
Mr Biondo says the promotion of alcohol to young people is a concern, as is the impact alcohol abuse has on family violence, and vulnerable people.
“It’s not responsible,” he said.
Press PLAY below to hear Mr Biondo’s criticism of Scott Morrison’s comments