Free Beer, Gold & Cash – How Countries Are Encouraging Citizens to Get Vaccinated
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to bestow herd immunity across the globe to combat not only the first strain but also the numerous variants of the virus that followed, several countries have initiated creative incentives to encourage citizens to get jabbed. We know and understand that researchers have developed highly efficacious doses against the virus – however, some don’t, and fretting about the rare but serious side-effects makes them reluctant to get pricked. The solution? Offering them a chance to walk away with a lot more than a sore arm! Here are some quirky ways that countries around the world are getting their citizens to get jabbed.
A vaccination process that slowed down just as quickly as it began got several states in the USA to pull up their socks. President Joe Biden announced a “month of action” to press individuals to get vaxxed before the 4th of July. Anheuser-Busch offered Americans aged 21+ a round of beer if Biden’s 70% before 4/7 goal is met. The state of Ohio announced that 5 adults stand a chance to win $1 million each as per the state’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery. Similarly, Maryland started a lottery program of its own, raising the stakes to $2 million. In New York, vaxxers win scratch-off raffles to bag a full scholarship to attend New York Public University. California announced massive cash-prize incentives which include $1.5 million for 10 lucky Californians and $50,000 for 30 individuals getting at least one dose.
In India, the central government has offered cash prizes up to ₹5000 to 10 individuals every month who submit photos of themselves getting vaccinated. A goldsmith community in Rajkot, Gujarat offered women gold nose pins and men, hand blenders, who took the vaccine at a camp set up by said rewarders. In Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, free biryani was offered to those who got jabbed. Not a bad deal, we say!
Some big billion businesses have announced incentives including new flats costing up to HK$ 10.8 million to individuals who get jabbed, while restaurants and bars are generously offering discounts to vaccinated visitors.
Serbia became the first country to announce a cash-for-jab scheme on May 5. The Balkans also offered foreigners a chance to get vaccinated while becoming a regional vaccination hub by importing millions of doses.
In an endeavour to speed up the vaccination process, restaurants in Dubai offered discounted meals to vaccinated patrons. Diners were required to present proof of vaccination to avail 20-30% off on their bill.
For a country that suffered the most severe outbreak of COVID-19, it was almost surprising how many citizens were hesitant to get vaccinated. Major metros like Shanghai and Beijing have heavily relied on sustained messaging and freebies to incentivise individuals. Additionally, malls and stores offered discounts and coupons to vaxxers while individuals above the age of 60 were given 5.5 pounds of eggs for getting jabbed. Mobile vaccination busses rapidly increased the rate of individuals getting vaccinated too.