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Covid lottery: Slovakia to roll out cash prize scheme to incentivize people to get vaccinated

Covid lottery: Slovakia to roll out cash prize scheme to incentivize people to get vaccinated
Slovakia is launching a scheme to motivate the masses to get their Covid shots – a weekly lottery of prizes up to €2 million for vaccinated people. Prizes are also available for anyone able to convince others to do the same.

The plan, submitted by Slovakia’s biggest ruling party, Ordinary People (OLANO), was approved by parliament on Friday. In a Facebook post welcoming the approval, OLANO said the common goal was to “build collective immunity against Covid-19 as quickly as possible,” and noted the worrying rise in cases in other countries due to the more transmissible Delta variant. 

The country’s Finance Ministry had been discussing the plan for a month as a way of incentivizing people financially to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, with the lottery scheme aiming to offer weekly cash prizes of up to €2 million. Any citizen of Slovakia is eligible to play as long as they have been vaccinated and are over the age of 18. Each person will be entered into the draw twice – once after each of the two doses.

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Another incentive launching alongside the lottery scheme is cash prizes for convincing other people to get vaccinated, which increase depending on age. If someone manages to convince a person older than 60 to get vaccinated, they will receive €90, while convincing someone in the 50-60 age bracket can net €60, and just €30 for the under-50s.

Slovakia is just the latest country to implement such a scheme. Greece recently issued a ‘freedom pass’ prepaid card for people aged 18-25 to spend €150 on travel and entertainment. And in India, stores and restaurants have offered discounted goods to vaccinated persons. Fast-food giant McDonald’s even put in place a scheme that offers 20% off for those who have had a Covid shot.

California also launched a vaccination lottery – of $1.5 million and $50,000 dollars in cash prizes – in order to inoculate as many people as possible in the state before it relaxed its Covid restrictions on June 15.

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Slovakia’s vaccination rate against Covid-19 has not yet gained the desired momentum. Data compiled by Our World In Data indicates that, as of Thursday, only 37.4% of the population has received one dose of a vaccine, and just under 30% is fully vaccinated. Slovakia is one of the least vaccinated European countries as measured in doses administered per 100 people.

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