A way to overcome vaccine hesitancy

John Kane-Berman suggests incentivising people by offering rewards via lotteries

There is a simple way of overcoming vaccine hesitancy – incentivise hesitant people by offering rewards via lotteries.

Every person who gets vaccinated against Covid-19 would have his or her name automatically entered into a lottery that is run each week. First prize each week R500 000, second prize R400 000, third R300 000, fourth R200 000, and fifth R100 000.

There would be a single national lottery. Government co-operation would be necessary, obviously, but the lotteries would be financed and operated by the private sector.

Large companies reluctant to make vaccination compulsory could run in-house lotteries.

The system would come to an end once 80% (say) of people have been vaccinated. If prize winners sometimes turn out to be people with principled objections to lotteries, their winnings would go to the next person on the list.  

* Kane-Berman is a policy fellow at the IRR, a think-tank that promotes political and economic freedom. Readers are invited to take a stand with the IRR by clicking here or sending an SMS with your name to 32823. Each SMS costs R1. Ts and Cs apply.