Cash incentive for Covid jab would not work: survey - RTHK
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Cash incentive for Covid jab would not work: survey

2021-02-18 HKT 13:39
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  • Researchers say rewarding people who are willing to take coronavirus vaccine will create a 'negative signalling effect'. File image: Reuters
    Researchers say rewarding people who are willing to take coronavirus vaccine will create a 'negative signalling effect'. File image: Reuters
Wendy Wong reports
A survey on the public’s attitude towards coronavirus vaccinations suggests that people would be more reluctant to get inoculated if they were paid to do so, as it would make them question the effectiveness of the jabs.

The government has announced that Covid-19 vaccines will be given free to anyone who wants it. Some pro-government lawmakers have urged authorities to encourage the public to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by offering them up to HK$5,000 in cash.

But a survey of more than 2,700 people in January by the University of Hong Kong, Baptist University, and Shue Yan University shows money is a turn-off when it comes to vaccination.

“If you reward money, it changes the nature of vaccination because there’s a negative signalling effect that the vaccine might be problematic,” said one of the researchers, Dr Samson Yuen from the Baptist University’s Department of Government and International Studies.

“The result shows us it’s actually good enough when you’re providing this for free. You don’t need to do something extra.”

Overall, only 39 percent of the respondents said they would get vaccinated, similar to previously conducted surveys.

However, when asked when they would get vaccinated if given a choice, two-fifths of respondents said they would like to go last.

“Even when people say they are not willing to take the vaccine, in fact they are only delaying their intention,” Yuen said. “So I think that’s the value of this analysis. It shows the discrepancy and it’s also important to look at the timing of when they decide to be vaccinated.”