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‘One vaccine, one chicken’: Indonesian town gives out livestock to encourage vaccination

JAKARTA: Cows are being given away in northern Thailand, while poultry are being given away in rural Indonesia. Governments all across the world are providing incentives to entice individuals to become vaccinated against COVID-19.

An Indonesian town is awarding senior citizens with live chickens for getting vaccinated for COVID-19 after the immunisation programme witnessed a low turnout from the public.

Asep Saepudin, who received his first shot of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine and a chicken, more than half a year after the country launched its vaccination programme stated, “I was scared that if I got vaccinated, I would die immediately.”

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The 67-year-old is one of the beneficiaries of a new door-to-door immunisation campaign in West Java’s Cipanas region, which began on Tuesday (June 15).

Authorities walk up at the houses of elderly inhabitants without warning, prepared to distribute immunizations and chickens.

Due to existing fear towards vaccine, local authorities stated it has been difficult to persuade older citizens to get vaccinated.

“For a variety of reasons, elderly people do not wish to be vaccinated. Some claim to want to be vaccinated but don’t show up (for their immunisation), while others claim to be terrified or have other reasons (for not getting vaccinated).

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That is why we pay them a visit… and we express our gratitude by distributing chickens to those who wish to be vaccinated, according to the Galih Aprian, the district police chief, was the one who initiated the chicken incentive program.

By the end of July, Cipanas hopes to have 60,000 residents fully immunised. Since January of this year, just 2500 residents had got at least one vaccine dosage.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health, only 5 percent of the country’s population or 8.8 million people have been fully vaccinated, the target of 181.5 million by the end of the year.

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