Cannabis, gold nose pins, even a Tesla car on offer to boost vaccination drive

Amid increasing vaccine hesitancy, several countries are offering all sorts of incentives in order to ramp up their vaccination drives. Without large-scale vaccination of the entire population, the threat of the pandemic will stay looming on the horizon for a long time.

While incentives can’t convince everyone, they can do a good job of convincing those who are sitting on the fence about COVID-19 vaccines.

Business houses have also begun to offer incentives and rewards for vaccination. Businesses have suffered hugely in the past year and a half due to widespread global lockdowns. Vaccinations remain the only way for countries to avoid such disruptions to their economies.

In the state of Washington, individuals can get free cannabis joints for getting vaccinated. The state of Arizona also has a similar incentive programme, doling out pre-rolled joints and edible cannabis gummy. The Biden administration announced offers like free beer, free sports tickets, and free childcare as well. A few states are offering the chance to win the lottery.

Budweiser is offering free beer, while Krispy Kreme is offering doughnuts, and dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble are offering free premium features and discounts.

In Hong Kong, residents have a chance to win shopping coupons worth HK$20 million, a HK$5 million cash grant, free insurance policies, new flats, private flights, gold bars and also a Tesla car.

In Serbia, citizens get paid in cash to get vaccinated, while in Israel citizens could enjoy certain activities before the lockdown was completely lifted.

Closer home, bank account beneficiaries can gain higher interest on their fixed deposits after getting vaccinated.

Restaurants in Delhi and Gurgaon are offering free beer and discounts. Residents of Rajkot are being wooed with gold nose pins and hand blenders.

The New England Journal of Medicine had noted in an article that “there is a certain logic to providing financial incentives, which may be used to offset the indirect costs of vaccination — including time spent planning appointments, travelling, or waiting; lost income for workers paid hourly; or expenses such as childcare. These costs disproportionately deter low-income people from getting vaccinated, and payments could ensure that vaccination is indeed ‘free’  to all.”

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