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'Bring a friend, get rewarded': Swiss nationals to get gifts for bringing friends for Covid jabs

WION Web Team
Bern, SwitzerlandUpdated: Oct 02, 2021, 10:16 AM IST

Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The Swiss government has started offering gift certificates to people who are bringing their friends to vaccination centres to get get them inoculated against Covid

Several countries had started offering incentives to the people who were coming ahead to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus. However, Switzerland has come up with an even better idea.

The Swiss government has started offering incentives to people who successfully bring their friends, neighbours, work colleagues and family members to get vaccinated.

"Everyone can help to convince a friend, neighbor, work colleague or family member of the benefits of vaccination," the government said, noting that this kind of "cooperation of the population should be rewarded."

From now on, any person who comes to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus will be asked to name one person who motivated them to get vaccinated. The named person will automatically be sent a gift certificate of $53.68 (50 Swiss francs).

These gift certificates can be used in cinemas, restaurants and other entertainment venues listed by the local governments.

The aim behind this new initiative is to make sure that more citizens come forward to get vaccinated. As of now, 58 per cent of the population of Switzerland has been fully vaccinated, which makes it one of the slowest inoculation drives in western Europe.

While the Covid cases have been declining in the country, the government is worried about the possibility of another surge in cases due to the deadly Delta variant. As of now, majority of the people in the intensive care units (ICUs) of Covid hospitals are people who had not yet been vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Swiss government has allocated $161.59 million (150 million francs) only for these Covid gift certificate offers.

Officials are planning to announce a national vaccination week in which nearly 170 mobile vaccination hubs will be set up all around the country that will help people find a vaccine centre easily.