From lottery tickets to free live cows: How countries around the world encourage their citizens to get the COVID-19 jab

Published May 31, 2021, 10:48 AM

by Jaleen Ramos

Free eggs, coupons, lottery tickets, and even live cows.

These are just some of the unique incentives that countries around the world are offering to entice people to get the shot against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A bartender pours beers for fully vaccinated customers at the bar inside Risky Business, that was once The Other Door but closed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on May 21, 2021. In order to go inside Risky Business, members must present their original vaccination card after being fully vaccinated, paying a small membership fee, signing a risk release form with penalties for lying, and waiting a full two weeks after competing their shots. Patrick T. FALLON / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE

PHILIPPINES

In Las Piñas City, residents who have received COVID-19 vaccine could get a P1.5-million house and lot as well as groceries and motorcycles.

The incentive program “May Bahay sa Bakuna: Bakunado Ka Na, May Bahay ka Pa” is open to all residents of the city who have completed or received at least a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Monthly draws starting July 15 will be held and 50 winners will be given “pangkabuhayan showcase” (livelihood showcase) worth P5,000.

The grand draw will be on December 24 and participants will get a chance to win a house and lot from Bria Homes and two motorcycles as consolation prizes.

Meanwhile, the local government of San Luis town in Pampanga will be raffling off cows to residents who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to boost the town’s vaccination program.

The raffle, which will be held at the end of every month will run for 12 months or until June, 2022.

In Muntinlupa City, Barangay Sucat is offering 25 kilos of rice to entice its residents to get their shot against COVID-19.

The weekly raffle promo will choose 20 winners among those who have been vaccinated.

Grocery packs, meanwhile, were given to over 500 residents who were vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Muntinlupa City Masonic Lodge 414 partnered with the city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) to give gifts to residents who will participate in the Muntinlupa vaccination program.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and private sectors in the country also launched the “Bakuna Benefits” program, where initiatives such as discounts in restaurants and retail outlets to vaccinated Filipinos to boost inoculation drives are offered.

SERBIA

Serbia became the first country to initiate a “cash-for-jabs scheme” on May 5.

President Alexander Vučić announced that anyone who gets the shot before the end of may would be paid 3,000 dinars.

Vučić said the country wanted to “reward people who showed responsibility.” The country hopes to further boost its rollout by also offering vaccines in shopping centers and rewarding volunteers with vouchers.

UNITED STATES

The state of Ohio recently announced that residents who got at least one shot of a vaccine would be eligible to win a hefty $1 million, according to a report from The New York Times.

The average number of new vaccinations per day increased to 26,000, up from about 15,000 shortly after the announcement.

States like Colorado, Oregon, New York, and Maryland have also launched similar campaigns.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announced that any state resident 12 to 17 years old, who get their first dose, could win a scholarship to a public university.

He had earlier offered to those who received the shot a two-day family pass to any of the 16 state parks around New York.

New Yorkers will also receive free train rides if they get vaccinated against COVID-19 in subway stations.

Fast-food companies and restaurants in the US have also offered free food, beer, and dessert to anyone showing proof of vaccination.

Some employers also offered perks to their employees such as time off and cash payments to get inoculated, according to CNBC.

US authorities eager to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 have offered inducements ranging from free beer to million-dollar lottery prizes, and now rock concert promoters have their own twist: whopping ticket discounts.

Fans of punk bands Teenage BottleRocket, MakeWar and Rutterkin can get into the June 26 concert in coastal Saint Petersburg, Florida for a “discounted” $18 if they can produce proof they have been fully vaccinated.

For those with no such proof, it’s an even $999.99.

Paul Williams of Leadfoot Productions in nearby Tampa Bay said that with vaccinations now available to everyone 12 and above, and people clamoring to again attend live concerts, he wanted to offer them a safe experience.

“I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence,” Williams told ABC News.

He said the response to his promotion had been “overwhelmingly positive,” but that some angry critics had obtained his phone number and made their views abundantly clear.

Williams said the lead band, Teenage BottleRocket, was initially skeptical but had come around.

In a video on Facebook, the band’s singer and guitar player Ray Carlisle tells fans: “We want to set a good example… we’ve been vaccinated. We’d love if you got vaccinated too. Come party with us. Safety first — party second!” On a smaller scale, well-known chef and humanitarian Jose Andres has offered $50 gift certificates to his Washington-area restaurants for the vaccinated.

CHINA

The Chinese government is boosting its vaccination drive by offering incentives such as free eggs, store coupons, and discounts on groceries and merchandise to those who got the jab.

THAILAND

In Thailand, free cows, gold necklaces, and discount coupons were offered to people who received their COVID jabs.

A raffle campaign was launched in Mae Chaem in Chiang Mai for its vaccinated residents each week to win a live cow.

In the city of Khon Kaen, a gold necklace giveaway was also initiated to registered vaccinated residents.

INDIA

As India continues to face a second wave of the virus, the central government offered cash prize to people who will submit photos of themselves getting vaccinated along with a tagline.

Ten best entries will be awarded Rs. 5,000 every month till the end of 2021, the government said in a Twitter post.

ISRAEL

In Israel, a “green pass” grants access to places or facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, hotels, and sporting and cultural events for recovered coronavirus patients and vaccinated people.

Some bars and restaurants in the country also partnered with the government to provide free food and drinks to citizens getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Times of Israel.

DUBAI

In Dubai, fully-vaccinated residents were rewarded with free access to gyms and fitness centers during the first two weeks of May.

The Dubai Sports Council had earlier launched the initiative called “Everyone is responsible for everyone.” The initiative aims to encourage individuals to complete their two doses of COVID-19 vaccines in exchange for free access to some of the top fitness centers in Dubai.

As of May 31 2021, the number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed 165 million, with deaths reaching more than three million since the pandemic began last year.

More than 1.5 billion doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered around the world. (With a report from AFP)

 
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