COVID19: Cyprus mulls ‘gifts’ to boost vaccination rate

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The government has engaged in a dialogue with stakeholders to introduce an incentive package for younger people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, including gift vouchers for holidays and tech gadgets.

On Monday, the Commissioner for the Citizen Panayiotis Sentonas met the youth council, the Cyprus Sports Organisation, the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB), and the Cyprus Banks Association.

Afterwards, Sentonas said participants had submitted suggestions for providing specific incentives to encourage the vaccination of young people who are more socially active.

He said that suggestions would be evaluated, and decisions announced in the coming days to boost vaccination coverage among younger age said to be driving a new wave of coronavirus.

Authorities are contemplating financial incentives similar to those introduced in Greece, where authorities attract young people under 26 to get a jab in exchange for a €150 voucher.

Vouchers given to Greek youngsters are redeemable in the tourism industry, such as buying air, ferry tickets and paying for hotel accommodation.

Health authorities want to increase vaccine coverage among younger people after data showed that almost 30% of new coronavirus cases are aged 18 or under.

The under 30s also have a lower rate of vaccination than older age groups.