Published on 07 Jun 2021

Cash, cows and lottery draws

The Straits Times, page A4

Cows, scholarships and million-dollar lottery draws - governments around the world have dangled these and other incentives in front of their citizens to help them overcome vaccine hesitancy and give national Covid-19 vaccination drives a booster shot. While Singapore has been making steady progress on the vaccination front, some observers have asked whether offering people additional incentives could help accelerate its pace.

Albert Winsemius Chair Professor of Economics Euston Quah of NTU said an economic argument can be made to provide incentives for vaccination, as people who have been vaccinated reduce medical and health costs for society. "The more people are vaccinated, the greater the likelihood that the pandemic will end. Thus, this group of vaccinated people confers a positive external effect on society compared with people who do not get vaccinated," he said.

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