Vaccine Reward Programs in Different Countries
The vaccination rate in Hong Kong has been low, reaching only 18% of the population at the end of May. To boost the vaccination rate, companies in Hong Kong are putting out prizes for lotteries as an incentive to encourage people to get vaccinated. Other countries are also using incentives to improve vaccination rates.
In Indonesia, live chickens are given away to people who got vaccinated with the goal of having more older residents receive the vaccine. The free chicken program was a success for the Indonesian government, originally, only 25 in 200 residents were willing to get vaccinated, 250 people were getting vaccinated per day after the program started. The increased number is not simply due to the incentive, the free chicken can be seen as a sign of respect for the elderly allowing them to be more at ease with health officials, making it easier to communicate with them about the safety and benefits of the vaccine, which can ease the worry of older residents who may have received misinformation about the vaccine before.
In the United States, among usual incentives such as money prizes, interesting prizes have appeared in individual states. In West Virginia, those who got vaccinated can enter a lottery to win custom hunting rifles and shotguns, these lottery prizes target a specific demographic, the gun owners, in an attempt to combat the lower vaccination rate in Republicans.
In the Philippines, since the end of May, there is a weekly lottery for winning a 25kg bag of rice for 20 individuals in Manila, which have encouraged vaccination among poorer people, raising the daily vaccination number from 400 to 2000. The vaccination rate in the Philippines population is under 2% and a survey revealed that only a third of them are willing to receive the shot. While lotteries have managed to improve the vaccination rate, president Duterte seems to want to take more extreme measures and imprison those unwilling to get vaccinated.
While incentives have been shown to effectively improve the vaccination rates in several countries. What can be learned from these countries is that the type of incentive is well thought out, targeting specific demographics. And the importance of educating the misinformed about the safety and benefits of the vaccines was not forgotten. When considering whether the vaccine is right for you, it is better to research about each vaccine and to avoid having your decision be influenced by outward benefits only.
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