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  • Writer's pictureSharon Rai

Vaccine Incentives on the Rise as Governments Strive for a Return to Normalcy

For more than a year now, the world has teetered on an edge: Is the pandemic over yet? While the end is yet to be determined, vaccine rollouts across the globe present a glimmer of shining hope. Aiming to boost the rate of inoculated individuals, governments and private entities are offering a wide variety of incentives from cows to gold bars. To learn about the most interesting incentives on hand, keep reading!

Cows, rice, and beer

Local governments in the Philippines and Thailand are luring villagers and townsfolk with cows. Vaccinated individuals can try their luck for the cattle each month in a Filipino town north of Manila and each week in Chiang Mai’s Mae Chaem district.

A city in Metro Manila is also holding weekly raffles for 25 kilos of rice while a mall hands out banana fritters. With similar energy, enticing vaccinated folks with biryani is a kitchen in the Indian city of Vizianagram. Food seems to be a popular incentive as across the seas, American retailer Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts to vaccinated individuals for an entire year.

Meanwhile, “Shots for Shots” campaigns are also gaining traction in the west. US state officials pushed for free beer and a private-owned brewery in Western Germany gave away their stock instead of waiting for the expiration date. In a similar vein, the US state of Michigan saw a marijuana pharmacy give away more than 35, 000 joints!

Gold pins, gold necklaces, and gold bars

It seems that gold never falls out of favour! Goldsmiths in the Indian city of Rajkot are handing out gold nose pins. In Thailand, local governments are organising raffles for gold necklaces, each valued at about 7000 baht. In Hong Kong, property giant Henderson Land Development has promised lucky draws for 24 Karat gold bars.

A shot at securing Teslas, apartments, and scholarships

The extravaganza extends beyond gold. Hong Kong in particular has seen a range of lavish incentives as huge corporations take the driver’s seat in handing out rewards. The list includes Tesla cars worth 500, 000 HKD and a one-bedroom flat valued at 10.8 million HKD. Prepaid credit cards are also up for grabs in lotteries.

A lawmaker in the Philippines has offered land that comes with a house as well as two motorcycles. In the country’s Ilocos Sur province, a mayor has promised a similar lucky draw giveaway.

In the US, where college tuition fees are notoriously expensive, lotteries for scholarships are attracting college students.

Transportation and travel

From annual MTR passes to Cathay’s Asia Miles worth 1 Million HKD, Hong Kong has seen a surge in vaccination rewards. However, transportation incentives are not limited to the city. Neighbouring Singaporeans get free transportation to vaccination centres when they take a Gojek ride. Japan’s local government at Shizuoka will provide taxis run by older people with subsidies of 2000 yen per passenger. Similarly, cities in the Philippines are offering free motorised rickshaw rides to vaccination centres.

Torture chambers at a historical landmark

In Romania, the Bran Castle management got extra creative. The historical landmark was a vaccination centre throughout May and promised its visitors free access to its torture chambers once they got the shot! Although the offer period is over now, it will surely be remembered as one of the most eye-catching rewards of its time.

Photos retrieved from Our World in Data

From the data above, we can see that the general trend of unwillingness to get vaccinated has declined over the past few months. There could be several factors as to why this trend is observed but giving credit where credit is due, the allure of incentives certainly did provide a major boost to shift the mindset of people to open up to the idea of vaccination.


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