Covid-19: Serbia is the first country to offer money to those who get vaccinated – News
President Aleksandar Vucic said anyone who receives the vaccine before May 31 will receive $ 30
The Serbian president said on Wednesday that his country will pay every citizen who receives a Covid hit before the end of May, in what could be the world’s first cash-for-jabs program.
The Balkan country bought millions of doses – from Western companies as well as China and Russia – and briefly became a regional vaccination center when it offered foreigners the opportunity to be vaccinated.
However, after 1.5 million of Serbia’s seven million people received two doses of the vaccine, with over 1.3 million officials fully vaccinated, the campaign began to slow down.
“Anyone … who received the vaccine before May 31 will receive 3,000 dinars ($ 30),” President Aleksandar Vucic told local media, adding that he expected three million to be vaccinated. ‘by the end of the month.
Vucic said the country wanted to “reward people who have shown responsibility.”
But he added that officials who did not receive a vaccine would not get paid leave if they contract the virus.
Biljana Stepanovic, economics expert and editor of Nova Ekonomija magazine, said Vucic “acts like Santa Claus” with taxpayer money, and added that it was “illegal” to deprive workers of paid holidays .
Serbia hopes to further accelerate its deployment on Thursday by offering vaccines in shopping malls and rewarding volunteers with vouchers.
“I have not met in the medical literature anyone paid for vaccinations against Covid-19,” Serbian epidemiologist Zoran Radovanovic told AFP.
“So we are perhaps the first not only in Europe, but also in the world.”
However, he warned that boosting immunization campaigns with cash could be a double-edged sword.
“It will push some of those living in extreme poverty to get vaccinated, but it will produce resistance with some of the others,” Radovanovic said.
“The logic is this: if the state pays me to do something that it tells me it’s for my good, then something is fishy.”
Some companies have offered incentives to their employees to get the Covid vaccine, and poorer countries in Asia and Africa are known to have offered rewards to those who get vaccinated in other campaigns – but not since. that the pandemic has taken hold.