A coastal hamlet called Kovalam near Chennai attempts to become the first fully vaccinated village in Tamil Nadu. A few NGOs in its neighbourhood have joined hands to motivate the villagers, by offering catchy prizes through lucky dips while taking the vaccine. The prizes on the card include refrigerators, washing machines, mobile phones and two-wheelers.
Vaccines are richly rewarding in the global fight against the Covid pandemic. But vaccine reluctance or being indifferent to it due to lack of awareness are two of the main barriers in creating effective immunity against the novel virus. To break the barriers, a few trusts in Kovalam village on the scenic beachfront, have pooled together their resources to evoke interest in vaccination. They give instant rewards to those who come for the jabs by distributing biryanis on the spot and also by promising very attractive lucky dips with durable consumer goods and two-wheelers as the catch. Before launching the initiative, just about 50 out of the over 6000 people had had their vaccines. After the initiative, the number of those who have registered for the shots has gone up to more than five hundred. For the inhabitants of the serene village, it pays to get a vaccine, not only medically but also materially. In the process, it also serves to create herd immunity against the global scourge.