Covid vaccine: The weird and wonderful incentives encouraging people to get the coronavirus jab

Throughout the pandemic, governments and health bodies have faced an abundance of challenges. One of the biggest roadblocks last year was the creation of a vaccine. After scientists hit the jackpot, a unique new challenge reared its head.

How will authorities make sure enough people take the vaccine? Scientists typically estimate that an inoculation rate of at least 70% is needed for herd immunity - where entire populations are protected against a disease.

Some bodies and community groups have turned to a weird and wonderful range of incentives in order to get people jabbed.

A shot and a beerNew Jersey has launched "Shot and a Beer", a scheme offering a free beer to those who get their first dose in May. To claim a drink, all they have to do is turn up to a participating brewery with their vaccination card.

In line with state drinking laws, residents must be 21 or over to be eligible for the incentive.

Gym access

Dubai has offered a healthier freebie to Emiratis who get the jab. For two weeks from May 3, participating gyms and sports clubs are opening their doors to people who have had two doses.The initiative, called “Everyone is Responsible for Everyone”, requires residents to produce a Covid-19 "vaccination certificate".

The Dubai Sports Council said it aims to encourage people to be improve their fitness levels, as well as get the jab.


China’s success at suppressing coronavirus has resulted in a population that seems almost reluctant to get vaccinated.So, last month, China attempted to accelerate its rollout by offering incentives, one being free eggs.

Visitors wearing face masks wait in line to enter a public park in Beijing in May this year.

“Good news. Starting from today, residents 60-years-old and above who have gotten their first shot are eligible for five ‘jin’ (2.5kg) of eggs. First come, first serve,” said a poster by a city-run health centre in Beijing.

Nose studs and hand blenders

As India's second wave began to rear its head last month, goldsmiths in the city of Rajkot, Gujurat sought to boost their local vaccination rate,

According to the Hindustan Times, the goldsmiths banded together to give women who got the jab free gold nose studs. Vaccinated men, on the other hand, were offered a hand blender.

Covid-19 infections and deaths continue to mount at an alarming speed in India, with cases nearly doubling in the past three months. The number of deaths has officially passed 220,000.

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Joints for jabsLast month, cannabis advocates in the US offered “joints for jabs” to encourage people in New York City and Washington to get vaccinated.

On April 20, an informal holiday marked by marijuana smokers, DC Marijuana Justice offered the drug to people outside vaccination centres.

The recreational use of cannabis is legal in New York and Washington DC.