While for many protection from a deadly virus is enough incentive to get them to a vaccination centre, in some countries going for a Covid-19 jab comes with added benefits.
Though it’s debatable if the chance to enter a cow raffle or get a free joint will swing the most diehard anti-vaxxers, here are some of the ways governments around the world are sweetening the pill (or needle).
Enter a monthly cow raffle in the Philippines
Last month a survey found that only a third of 1,200 Filipinos asked were willing to be vaccinated, even though the country is enduring one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia. In response, local governments across the country are resorting to raffles to encourage vaccine uptake.
The prizes include sacks of rice and bags of grocery items, but in agricultural San Luis, near Manila, the municipal government will raffle a cow every month for immunised residents.
Win a £1 million lottery jackpot
In the most Californian of settings, triumphant music blared as Governor Gavin Newsom stepped onto the stage at Universal Studios Hollywood last week, flanked by a colourful cast of movie characters to draw 10 lucky prize winners in the state’s vaccine sweepstakes — each of whom took home $1.5 million (£1.06 million).
All partially or fully vaccinated residents were automatically entered for a chance at the grand prizes, as well as two draws earlier this month in which 30 Californians won $50,000 apiece.
Take home two cartons of eggs in China
Vaccine with a side of eggs, anyone? After setting a goal to vaccinate 40 per cent of its 1.4 billion-strong population by the end of June, China has a steep task ahead of it. Some Weibo users in Beijing have circulated a poster which says residents over the age of 60 who are vaccinated ‘can get two cartons of fresh eggs for free’. Some local grocery shops are also promoting free veggies for the vaccinated, as well as buy-one-get-one-free ice creams.
Win a £1 million apartment in Hong Kong
A Hong Kong property developer is offering up a $1.4 million (£1 million) apartment to one lucky vaccinated resident as local authorities grapple with widespread reluctance to get inoculated.
Hong Kong residents who are 18 or older and have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be eligible to enter the draw by September 1, 2021. In a country with the world’s highest property prices, a brand new 449-square-foot apartment is quite the reward. The government has also announced more incentives, including the chance to win literal gold bars and a brand new Tesla.
Gold nose pins for the ladies (and a hand blender for men) in India
In the Indian city of Rajkot, Gujurat, goldsmiths have rallied together to give women free gold nose pins for getting the jab, while men are being offered a complimentary hand blender. Indian retailers in other parts of the country are giving out discounts on car repairs, stationery, biryani, sweets and chicken dishes. North Delhi’s municipality, meanwhile, is offering an additional 5 per cent tax rebate.
Trucks and guns on offer in West Virginia
Yes, you read that right - guns. Earlier this month West Virginia’s governor announced details of the state’s vaccine incentive lottery that will begin on June 20 and run through to August 4.
The giveaway will include a $1.588 million (£1.41 million) grand prize, a $588,000 (£424,000) second prize, full scholarships to any higher education institution in West Virginia, custom-outfitted trucks, weekend vacations at state parks, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, custom hunting rifles and custom hunting shotguns. Ah, America.
A pound of crawfish in New Orleans
Louisiana is famous for its enviable food, and last month residents who showed up for a jab at one of the capital’s vaccination centres went home with a pound of boiled crawfish. The effort was a partnership between local business incubator Propeller, the city health department and Cajun Seafood, a longtime local seafood market.
Free tickets to the Super Bowl
In collaboration with the White House Covid Response Team and Global Citizen, the NFL is providing 50 free tickets to the Super Bowl in February next year. The offer includes a chance to win a pair of tickets for fans who share their story on why they got vaccinated or will soon get vaccinated.
For an event where a single ticket can cost $5,000, this is one which will certainly have caught the eye of American football fans.
Doughnuts, burgers, cheesecake and even free groceries for a year...
Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Shake Shack burgers, cheesecake, hotdogs, free groceries for a year, whatever this dessert-on-a-stick is - if there’s one thing the USA doesn’t hold back on, it’s food, and they have pulled out all the stops. In seemingly every state across the country, getting a vaccine comes with a side of a free sweet treat of some kind.
This has not been without controversy, however - in March when Krispy Kreme announced they were giving one free glazed doughnut per day to any vaccinated customer, it sparked a Twitter war over health concerns about weight gained during the pandemic. (The same day Krispy Kreme made its announcement, a small study was published suggesting those quarantining at home had gained nearly two pounds per month).
Beer, beer and more beer
American brewing company Anheuser-Busch announced this month that it is launching a campaign to give away free beer to potentially millions of Americans, provided that the United States reaches the White House goal of 70 per cent of Americans being partially vaccinated against Covid-19 by July 4.
Other state-wide initiatives are in place too - for example New Jersey has teamed up with local breweries to encourage residents to get vaccinated through the new "Shot and a Beer" program. And it’s not just beer - bars across the country are also offering ‘shots for shots’ - free shots of liquor in return for getting jabbed. Cheers to that!
VIP tickets to the Euro 2020 final at Wembley
Is it coming home? We don’t know that just yet, but we do know that if you book your first jab this week you could be in with the chance to attend the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday as a guest of London Mayor Sadiq Khan. The Mayor announced the prize draw as part of his ‘Grab a Jab’ initiative. He is also giving away 50 pairs of tickets to the Trafalgar Square Fan Zone. To enter, Londoners must provide proof that they attended a vaccination appointment this week or have booked in to get their first dose.
And, of course, marijuana...
Imagine trying to explain this to someone two years ago: Washington state is offering free marijuana joints to any adults who receive a Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this month the Washington state liquor and cannabis board announced the promotion, aptly called ‘Joints for Jabs’, that will run until July 12.
During the initiative’s run, state-licensed dispensaries can give age-appropriate customers, 21 and older, a pre-rolled joint when they receive their first or second dose.
The initiative follows another unofficial ‘joints for jabs’ drive in New York in April to celebrate the “4/20” marijuana holiday, when activists handed out free spliffs to all adults with a vaccine card.