COVID-19 Vaccines: Hong Kong gov’t enticing citizens with cash and apartments

As demand for Covid vaccines has fallen in Hong Kong, private companies are offering residents incentives to become vaccinated, which include giveaways and prizes, such as a million-dollar apartment, shopping vouchers and a private airplane party.

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New incentives are being announced daily. In the past week, some companies have offered employees cash bonuses, shares of company stock and extra time off work.

Also, Hong Kong Disneyland theme park is giving away bags with some $30 of gifts and vouchers for visitors who have received at least one of the two Covid-19 vaccinations.

And while private businesses are offering cash and other incentives to those who become vaccinated, the government is looking at how they might offer incentives of increased socializing and travel for Hong Kong residents who are vaccinated.

To date, nearly 1.5 million people in Hong Kong, which has a population of 7.5 million, have had both doses of the Covid vaccine. The rate of vaccinations in Singapore, with a slightly smaller population, is more than twice that in Hong Kong.

However, the low rate of Covid infections is holding back people from being vaccinated. As of Friday, the city had recorded no local infections in more than a month.

Francis Lam, a 72-year-old retired salesman, was one of the people who had been hesitant, but is now booked for his first shot next week.

“I would have had to get the vaccine sooner or later,” said Lam, a 72-year-old retired salesman. “The chance to get some free money is a perk, too, though of course I wouldn’t have gambled with my health just to enter some lucky draw,” he said, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

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