Moscow offers vouches to entice vaccines

·1-min read

People in Moscow are being offered gift cards to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a bid by health officials to boost uptake among vaccine sceptics.

Those over 60 will be given a voucher worth 1000 roubles (about $17) to spend in selected shops, pharmacies and cafes after getting their first job, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on Sunday.

The voucher, which is financed by corporate donations, is claimed online.

Russia got off to a head start with mass vaccinations starting in December, but many elderly people remain sceptical as to whether Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is safe.

Four months later, just under five per cent of the population have received both injections, according to the latest figures.

While there are reports of vaccine shortages in some regions, people in Moscow are even being offered the vaccine in shopping centres.

According to Sobyanin, about 400,000 elderly people in the city of 12 million have been vaccinated so far.

Posters calling on people over 60 to be immunised can be seen hanging all over the city.

After a severe lockdown last year, Muscovites in this age group were called upon to stay at home for months.