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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Have jab, win a prize: House, cow, rice on offer

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With incentives ranging from cows to sacks of rice to house and lot packages, local government units are pulling out all the stops to convince Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Las Piñas, inoculated residents have the chance to win a brand new house as well as groceries and motorcycles under the program “May Bahay sa Bakuna: Bakunado Ka Na, May Bahay Ka Pa.”

“We want to reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated for people, their families, and the community. It will not only protect people but help our economy slowly recover. Through this effort, we also have a chance to increase awareness and confidence in vaccines," Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar said.

Monthly draws will be held starting in July for 50 winners of a livelihood package worth P5,000. The grand draw on December 24 will have one lucky winner of two motorcycles and a house and lot package from Bria Homes.

In San Luis town in Pampanga, Mayor Jayson Sagum announced the monthly draw for a cow worth about P30,000 in a bid to convince some 60,000 adult residents to get the COVID-19 jabs.

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"For us to attain our goal, we have to think of a strategy. And we know Filipinos like a game of chance," Sagum said.

In Brgy. Sucat in Muntinlupa City, vaccinees can get the chance to bring home a 25-kilo sack of rice in a weekly raffle draw.

The incentive, said barangay chairman Raffy Sevilla, is a gesture to thank the residents for cooperating with the government's vaccination drive.

The Philippines has so far vaccinated almost 4.7 million persons against COVID-19, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, averaging about 100,000 jabs per day.

The government plans to increase the daily vaccination rate to 500,000 to inch closer toward herd immunity by fully inoculating at least 58 million Filipinos against the novel coronavirus disease.

At least 1 million Filipinos have been fully inoculated against the virus since the vaccine program was rolled out March 1.

Other countries have also resorted to desperate measures to convince their citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Hong Kongers reluctant to get the jab have been given a million-dollar reason to roll up their sleeves after property tycoons donated a brand new flat to a vaccine lottery.

Worth $1.4 million, the one-bedroom apartment will be the lucky draw's grand prize, the property developers announced Friday. They will also offer 20 other prizes worth HK$100,000 each.

Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world to have secured more than enough doses to inoculate all 7.5 million people. But rampant distrust of the government combined with a lack of urgency in a comparatively virus-free city has led to hesitancy and a dismally lagging inoculation drive.

In the US, officials are offering everything from free beer to full college scholarships to weekly $1 million prize to convince Americans to get inoculated.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine downplayed criticisms that the $1 million weekly draw was a waste of money.

“Truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19,” the governor said on Twitter.

In Dubai, residents who have been fully vaccinated are given a fortnight's gym membership under its “Everyone is Responsible for Everyone” campaign.

Women vaccinees get free gold nose pins and men are offered hand blenders in the Indian city of Rajkot, while in Vizianagaram, a restaurant owner hands out free biryani to those who get the jab.

In Manila, the Department of Health said Friday it was supporting efforts to incentivize the vaccination program.

“The DOH is also thinking of additional incentives to encourage vaccination,” Vergeire said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said the government should use all legal and creative means to get Filipinos inoculated.

“This is not only for our people's health and well-being, but also to make our economy vibrant again and ultimately get our pre-pandemic normal lives back again," Lacson said.

A recent Social Weather Stations survey showed more than half or 63 percent of Filipinos preferred to receive COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in the United States.

In the survey conducted from April 28 to May 2, SWS found that the US dominated the list for preferred sources of vaccines, followed by China at 19 percent; Japan, Australia and United Kingdom at 13 percent each; and Canada and Russia at 12 percent each.

The survey also found Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer-BioNTech topping the list of preferred brands at 39 percent and 33 percent, respectively. At the time of the survey, over 7 million COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Gamaleya have been delivered to the Philippines. The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech jabs arrived a week after the survey on May 10. With AFP, Willie Casas and Macon Ramos-Araneta

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