Covid: 8 countries offering free cars, cows and cash to vaccinated residents

Dubai - Incentives include increased access to public services, free eggs and even lottery tickets.

By Web report

Published: Fri 21 May 2021, 10:10 AM

Last updated: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 6:00 PM

Several countries, including the UAE, have taken to offering freebies and even cash to residents who take the jab.

In the wake of Covid vaccine roll-outs around the world, some nations have come up with unique incentives for their residents to get the jab.

Apart from increased access to public services, those who decide to get vaccinated can enjoy freebies ranging from eggs to lottery tickets. Below is a list of what some countries are offering:

>> UAE

Earlier this year, businesses offered discounts on driving courses, hotel bookings, restaurants and more. Free coffee, gym access and free or discounted taxi rides to and from vaccination centres have also been offered. Read more about it here.

>> USA

State governments have begun holding lotteries, with vaccinated residents standing the chance to win $1 million (Dh3.67 million) in Ohio and $5 million (Dh18.3 million) in New York.

In California, a $116.5-million plan is designed to encourage more people to get the jab ahead of June 15, when many restrictions are set to be lifted. Thirty people have already scooped up $50,000 prizes, with another 10 Californians in line for a $1.5m payout. The state is also giving out 2 million $50 gift cards.

Apart from cash incentives though, states have also rolled out 'joints for jabs' campaigns in Washington and New York. Those who take the vaccine as part of the initiative can walk away with a free marijuana joint.

>> Russia

Moscow’s mayor has announced free cars in a prize draw for residents who get the Covid-19 shot, in an effort to speed up the sluggish rate of vaccinations in the capital. He said that five cars worth 1 million roubles ($13,900) each would be given away every week. Anyone over 18 who receives the first of a two-dose Covid-19 vaccine between June 14 and July 11 will be eligible.

>> Philippines

The mayor of a farming town near Manila has promised to raffle a cow each month, starting September, to get his constituents to take the vaccines. Bovines are not the only freebies up for grabs though. According to The Straits Times, another mayor will be offering a plot of land with a house in December, while malls and restaurants have taken to offering incentives of free parking and meal discounts.

>> China

Apart from sustained messaging strategies, local governments in China have relied on freebies to convince people to get vaccinated. According to CTV News, these include reward points or coupons at shopping malls, free entry to temples and even free eggs for vaccinated residents over 60.

>> India

Goldsmiths in Rajkot, Gujarat banded together to give women who got vaccinated free gold nose pins, offering men a free hand blender, according to the Hindustan Times. Indian businesses have handed out biryani, sweets, discounts and more as well. According to Times of India North, East and South Delhi municipal corporations have also provided a 5 per cent tax rebate for those who had the shot.

>> Romania

According to the BBC, the legendary home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Bran Castle offered visitors Pfizer shots with their ticket. Medics with fang stickers administered the jab, which also gave tourists free access to the castle’s notorious torture chambers.

>> Serbia

Serbia announced that it would offer 3,000 dinars (Dh114) to all residents who received the vaccine by May 31. According to France24, President Aleksander Vucic said the country did so to “reward people who showed responsibility.”

Fans arrive to directions to the vaccinated or unvaccinated sections prior to a Stanley Cup Playoffs game in New York. Photo: AFP
Fans arrive to directions to the vaccinated or unvaccinated sections prior to a Stanley Cup Playoffs game in New York. Photo: AFP

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