Way back in April of this year, my friend and colleague at DownToEarth Kiwi, Brogan Powlesland, closely predicted the situation we have in NZ today in which the country is desperate to push the vaccination rate higher. In a "cash for vaccines" blog, he proposed:
"Offer every adult $250 to take both vaccines. At a total cost of around $1bn, it may be the most cost-effective way of avoiding lockdowns, which have come at far greater cost to the country. The wage subsidy scheme alone cost over $10 billion. If we’re serious about achieving herd immunity and opening the border, this may be the best approach. But given NZ is second lowest in the OECD in terms of vaccinations per 100 people and the government isn’t keen on using incentives and market solutions to solve society’s problems, let’s not hold our breath".
Well, as Brogan predicted, it's not the government which has implemented this type of scheme. Instead the news today reports that the Warehouse has: "The Warehouse Group, which operates stores including The Warehouse and Noel Leeming and employs 11,000 New Zealanders, is offering $100 to every employee that gets fully vaccinated against COVID-19". And the Herald is reporting that other firms have just started to offer cash prizes.