The President of Serbia has announced what is likely the world’s first cash-for-jabs plan. He offers to pay around 3,000 dinars ($ 30) to every citizen who receives a Covid vaccine before the end of May to increase acceptance.
The move was revealed by President Alexandra Vucic on Wednesday after the country’s vaccination stalled due to poor voter turnout. Serbia has vaccinated around 1.3 million of its 7 million people.
The government hopes that by providing a financial incentive to “reward those who have shown responsibility” it will more than double the number of people vaccinated in one month.
In addition to revealing the new incentive, Vucic warned that people who refused to receive a Covid vaccine would be denied paid sick leave if they contracted coronavirus.
To meet the potential increase in demand, Serbia will add shopping malls to its vaccination centers.
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The Serbian epidemiologist Zoran Radovanovic told AFP that the Serbian proposal was a world first. However, he cautioned that the government should be careful because while the measure might encourage some to vaccinate, it might raise suspicions in others that the government will have to pay people to get vaccinated.
The country’s Covid vaccine campaign manages Russia’s Sputnik V and Sinopharm BBIBP CorV shocks, as well as those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca.
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