Slovakia vows €2m prizes in weekly vaccination lottery

Photo: EPA

Slovakia decided to take decisive steps to spur its lagging Covid-19 vaccination programme. The country announced the launch of a weekly vaccination lottery with prizes reaching as high as two million euros. Slovakia envisages further bonuses to people who convince others to take a vaccine shot.

By Friday Slovakia has fully vaccinated only 28.7% of the population, falling behind the EU average of 32.9%, Reuters reported. Data from the country's vaccination registration process shows a declining number of people waiting for a first shot as well as a fall in daily vaccinations from a peak registered in May. The proposed initiative by the biggest ruling party, Ordinary People (OLANO), offers people the chance to participate in the lottery once after each shot. Separately, each Slovak who convinces another to get inoculated will receive a bonus between 30 and 90 euros when that person gets fully vaccinated, with the prize amount rising with the age of the vaccinated person.

"Because another wave of the pandemic can be expected in the autumn it is necessary to develop maximum effort to increase the public's interest in vaccination," authors of the proposal said in a report that backs the plan.

Governments in Europe expressed strong concerns due to the spread of the easier transmissible Delta variant, first found in India. Low vaccination rates increase the risk of a resurgence of the virus in the parts of populations that are not protected.

More transmissible viruses not only increase the pace of an epidemic's spread but also the threshold needed for the population to be protected by collective immunity.

From 9 July the Slovak government will require unvaccinated people to quarantine upon arrival from anywhere abroad, with exemptions for people commuting for work and children aged 12 to 18, who have a deadline until 9 August to get vaccinated. From July non-vaccinated people also must take a PCR test when attending public events like weddings.

Similar articles

  • Germany GDP growth slows to 2.5% in 2021

    Germany GDP growth slows to 2.5% in 2021

    Germany revised downwards the 2021 expected economic growth due to pandemic slowdown coupled with supply bottlenecks linked to almost all raw materials. The Ifo institute said it now saw this year gross domestic product growth down to 2.5%, Reuters reported. The previous forecast was 0.8% percentage points higher.

  • Polls in Germany shift slowly in favour of Merkel's conservatives

    Polls in Germany shift slowly in favour of Merkel's conservatives

    Opinion polls ahead of the German elections on Sunday are continuing to shift slowly in favour of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc, although it still remains behind the Social Democrats (SPD), dpa reported. The latest poll by the Forsa institute on Tuesday shows Merkel's alliance of Christian Democrats and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) up one percentage point at 22%, three points behind the SPD and their candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz.