Incentivize vaccination for success
A few days back Director, RIMS spoke to me and expressed his concern about the slow progress of the Covid vaccination drive in the State as well as in the country. He said, if we really want to have some kind of a mass immunity from this virus, extensive vaccination is indispensable and it is the only answer. Vaccine hesitancy is the major hurdle to achieve it. We need to do it fast otherwise this virus and its new avatars will again kill us more in the very near future.
Then I started pondering – what should we do? Giving incentives for vaccination may be an answer; it may help. I was seriously thinking - what incentives can we provide to the people, so that more and more people come forward for inoculation.
Those vaccinated are given a inoculation report; soft copy or hard copy it is made available; on the basis of that the following incentives may be extended:
Vaccinated people must be allowed to travel without restrictions anywhere in the country.
They should not be tested for Covid at the airports, railway stations or bus terminals etc.
Vaccinated people may be given free parking rights in every parking space ( for both 2 and 4 wheelers).
They should not be arrested or fined for not wearing a mask or breaking the Covid protocols.
They must be given free access to DCs , SPs, Govt. Offices including the Secretariat.
No charge is taken from them in the public toilets run by Sulabh or local bodies.
More discounts may be given to them while purchasing medicines from Sarkari pharmacies like Jan Aushadhi medical stores.
Vaccinated citizens may be permitted every week to buy two bottles ( after the first shot) four bottles (after second shot) from the Army/Paramilitary/Police canteens at the same rate as the insiders do at least for one year( applicable in both dry and wet areas).
Govt must provide an insurance coverage of at least 1 crore rupees, in case of any fatal eventuality within six months of inoculation (counting from the first doze itself.)
Free travel in local buses, trains, metros, trams etc run by the government.
Free access to the tourist sites, parks, gardens, religious places etc.
They should be allowed to see movies, dramas, lilas etc., without a ticket in between the two dozes (for metal relaxation).
If the entire family (eligible candidates) is vaccinated, their local ration quota must be augmented by 10-20 percent.
Vaccinated persons shall not be arrested even in serious cases of corruption and disproportionate assets till the end of the pandemic.
Immediately after the inoculation within 30 minutes he/she must be given 250 rupees just to buy fish / chicken/ paneer etc. on the way home. For pvt. jabs there are no such incentives, instead they have to pay 250 rupees from their pocket.
Government employees may be given one increment extra immediately after their successful completion of their vaccination (after two shots).
All the reporters and journalists may be honored with honorarium for not spreading fear about these vaccines till the vaccination program is over.
Those who want to have a third shot may take the permission from their respective spouses or nearest relatives. After the third shot permission may be given to marry for the second time or the fifth time as the case may be.
In case of medical emergencies, the vaccinated persons may be given priority in all the hospitals or clinics or diagnostic centers etc.
Vaccinated people may be given a Purchase-Card enabling them to buy goods and commodities from the Defense Canteens at the usual subsidized rates at least for one year.
These are my recommendations for popularizing the vaccination drive. The policy makers may accept or reject all the recommendations; it is up to them. Except those few extraordinary suggestions all are doable without must hassles. Please see.
According to Director, AIIMS, “it should be mandatory for health workers directly involved in patient care to take the shot. When we look at the data 50% of the healthcare workers have not come forward. Unlike the general public, there is more vaccine hesitancy in the healthcare workers because of the reading and worrying about things that don’t matter. I have argued with them that the drive is not for them but for their patients. It should be mandatory for all the healthcare working in the hospital for the safety of their patients.”(Courtesy Indian Express)
Experts opine that at least 70 crore people must be vaccinated for developing a kind of herd immunity in this country which has a population of about 130 crores. Till today We have just inoculated 7 crores. It is a long way to go.
As of now the Covid vaccination drive is open for the citizens in the age group of 45 to 100 (I mean 45 and above). My simple suggestion is that it should be open to all. Even if it does not work, make it mandatory for those people who want to come out from their homes.
Hats off to those who had taken the shots without incentives.