The initiative would be a first of its kind in the world. Serbia will pay 25 euros to each of its nationals already vaccinated against Covid-19 and to those who will be vaccinated by the end of the month. “All those who have already received one or two doses and all those who will be vaccinated with at least one dose by May 31 will receive 3,000 dinars (25 euros)”, declared Wednesday President Aleksandar Vucic, invited to a local television.
He added that he hoped that nearly three million people would be vaccinated by the end of May with at least one dose of the vaccine. Serbia is one of the leading European countries in terms of vaccination of its population, with 1.3 million people having received both doses to date, for seven million inhabitants. However, the Balkan country wants to relaunch its immunization campaign while public interest has declined.
Reward Serbs’ “Responsibility”
The authorities want this initiative to “reward people who have shown responsibility”, explained Aleksandar Vucic. He also announced that public sector employees who have not been vaccinated will no longer be able to receive compensation during sick leave if it is for having contracted the virus.
“I still have not seen in the medical literature that someone has been paid to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” said Serbian epidemiologist Zoran Radovanovic, who however believes that the incentive to be vaccinated in offering money can be a double-edged sword. “This will push some who live in extreme poverty to get vaccinated, but will cause resistance in others,” he warned. “The logic is as follows: if the state pays me to do something and tells me that it is for my own good, then there is something fishy,” says this expert.