Ukraine considering cash incentive for Covid jab
Ukraine has the lowest vaccination rate in Europe: only 21 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Now an idea proposed by President Volodymyr Zelensky is under discussion whereby those willling to be vaccinated would receive a digital voucher worth the equivalent of 33 euros that can be redeemed at sport studios, cinemas and travel agents. The vouchers are also meant to strengthen the economy.
An incentive only for those who are wavering
Ukrayinska Pravda expects the measure to have limited impact:
“There have been no clearly successful experiences in other countries that prove that such incentives can seriously boost the proportion of vaccinated people. These incentives probably encourage those who were not against vaccination but put it off for some reason. And there are quite a few such people in Ukraine: the polling organisation Rating estimates that this applies to 18 percent of adult Ukrainians. For them, the president's latest initiative could be an effective incentive. But 43 percent of adult Ukrainians are still fierce opponents of vaccination. The government will have to come up with something else in their case.”
Don't exclude people without smartphones
Political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko supports the initiative in NV but sees difficulties with implementing it:
“It's important to think about the logistics, management and technology necessary to implement this idea. Otherwise the negative consequences could outweigh the positive impact. ... Not everyone owns a smartphone; in particular pensioners and those on low incomes don't have one. And these social groups should by no means be ignored. That would be extremely unfair and hamper the success of this proposal.”