Beijing district encourages residents to get COVID-19 shots with shopping coupons

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-thru vaccination station, in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – Shoppers in a district of Beijing are getting discount coupons if they have received COVID-19 vaccinations, as China tries to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination rate.

Daxing district, with a population of about 1.8 million, started handing out the coupons on Wednesday to people who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The coupons range in value from 8 yuan ($1.23) to 30 yuan each depending on various conditions, and can be used at supermarkets in Daxing, the district said on social media.

More than 200 million yuan ($30.7 million) worth of discounts will be distributed through the coupons, Beijing Daily, the official newspaper of communist party authorities in the city, said.

Some people expressed concern about the coupons on social media.

“Inducing people into vaccination in this way will reduce people’s trust in vaccines,” one person wrote on Weibo.

More than 73% of people in Daxing aged 18 and above have had at least one shot, Beijing Daily said.

China’s daily output of COVID-19 vaccines has reached about 5 million doses, more than tripling the 1.5 million-dose daily production rate on Feb. 1, official media said on Wednesday.

($1 = 6.5226 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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