Governments and businesses in Asia and North America are offering prizes or gifts to people who get the COVID-19 vaccine. Rewards include cash, pets, apartments, beer, and more.
From Thailand to Indonesia to Hong Kong, Asian governments offer different prices for vaccination.
In the Mae Chaem region of Thailand, north of Chiang Mai, most people keep cows. Local authorities have therefore launched a cow raffle this month. A raffle is a game in which people get numbered tickets in exchange for a chance to win a prize.
Inkham Thongkham, 65, won a one-year-old female cow worth $ 320 after receiving her coronavirus vaccine.
Thongkham described the award as “the best gift ever”.
Officials said the campaign, now in its second week, has led more than 50% of people in the region to register for the vaccine.
Many people in Asia are unsure of getting vaccinated, with widespread misinformation fueling concerns about vaccines.
In Hong Kong, free air flights and a new apartment worth $ 1.4 million are among the prizes offered to those vaccinated. Some companies in China have even gone further by offering paid leave to vaccinated people.
Even in countries hard hit by the coronavirus, like Indonesia, governments have struggled to reduce vaccine fears. Among Indonesian Muslims – who make up over 85% of the country’s population – many are concerned about whether vaccines are considered halal or permitted by Islam.
Asep Saepudin is a 67-year-old resident of Cipanas, in the Indonesian province of West Java. “I was afraid that if I was vaccinated I would die immediately… Then there was more disturbing news that this vaccine contained pork,” Saepudin said.
Cipanas officials say it has been particularly difficult to persuade older people that vaccines are safe and halal. As in Thailand, authorities have also turned to animal prices, offering live chickens for every senior or older who is shot.
“The elderly do not want to be vaccinated for various reasons. Some say they want to but do not come, some are even afraid,” said local police chief Galih Aprian. reward (their vaccinations) with chickens.
Asia is not the only part of the world where governments give prices for vaccinations. Many states in the United States do this too.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, for example, recently handed out $ 1.5 million each to 10 vaccinated winners to mark the end of the state’s restrictions on coronaviruses.
The $ 15 million total was the latest part of Newsom’s $ 116.5 million “Vax for the Win” program. It was part of a larger effort to persuade residents to get vaccinated and to speed California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The website of the National Association of Governors give a list various gift or prize programs offered by US states. Some programs donate money, while others offer different experiences.
The website notes that in Alabama, the Talladega Superspeedway offered to people aged 16 and over the opportunity to drive their car or truck on the race Track.
In May, New Jersey has teamed up with different beer makers, called breweries, to offer free beer to people over the age of 21. The program had special conditions and required proof of vaccination.
Emily Largent of the University of Pennsylvania is an expert on medical issues and health policy. Money says AARP that the use of gifts or prizes can attract different types of people as a way of getting them to research the vaccine.
Largent suggested the offers could be useful for those less concerned about public health benefits vaccines.
I am John Russell.
John Russell adapted this story based on Reuters and Associated Press reports. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Words in this story
reward – v. money or other type of payment that is given or received for something that has been done or that is offered for something that could be done
Track – not. an often circular path or road that is used for running
advantage – not. a good or useful result