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A gold nose pin, boxes of eggs, or a tax rebate: Covid vaccine incentives around the world

There isn’t much to like about having a needle stuck into your arm, so to encourage vaccinations, some countries are offering incentives to sweeten the deal. In one Indian city, residents are being offered a gold nose pin or a stick blender if they get a shot, while in China, not one but two boxes of eggs await responsible citizens.

“The eggs don’t matter,” one Beijing resident – a woman in her 60s – told the South China Morning Post. She was queueing for her vaccination because authorities kept asking her to get the vaccine, not for the protein.

On offer for people in other parts of the city were shopping coupons and grocery vouchers. Elsewhere in the country people were given chicken wings, tissues, flour, cash prizes and free entry into parks. The last freebie was deemed “stingy” by residents, the Washington Post reported.

In the Indian city of Rajkot, Gujurat, goldsmiths have banded together to give women free gold nose pins for getting the jab, while men are offered a hand blender, the Hindustan Times reported. Indian retailers in other parts of the country handed out snacks, discounts on car repairs, stationery, biryani, sweets and chicken dishes. North Delhi’s municipality, meanwhile, offered an additional 5% tax rebate.

Russians stood to scoop free ice cream, while some Israelis were offered a can of Coca-Cola, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer, a loaf of challah, pizza, pastries or cholent, a meat stew traditionally eaten on the sabbath.

Three Dubai restaurants offered 10% off the bill for your first shot, and 20% if you’d had both, Fortune reported.

In the US, people have been offered glazed doughnuts, Brazilian doughnuts, marijuana, beer, arcade tokens, vaccine card lamination, popcorn and cash, as well as free video game, paddle board, surfboard and snorkel rentals, Forbes reported. Food chain Red Rooster offered employees a $250 bonus and two paid days off work.

Japanese minister Taro Kono, who is in charge of the country’s vaccine rollout, suggested in a TV appearance that offering people free gyoza for getting the vaccine might be a good idea, the Associated Press reported. As yet, the suggestion does not appear to have been taken up by anyone.

For other needle-receivers, the vibe was reward enough. In Mexico City, people waiting for their shots danced along as a band played (free) music.

Indonesian authorities believe disincentives may work better. People refusing to be vaccinated will face fines or see their welfare payments restricted, according to the Thompson Reuters Foundation.

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