In recent months, growing concern over the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccination has further strained Australia’s health and economic recovery. So far, around 12.4 million vaccines have been administered across the country – a number Labor leader Anthony Albanese wants to see changed quickly.
Overnight, Albanese suggested that the government pay a one-time payment of $ 300 to anyone who gets a full vaccine by December 1, 2021. The plaster payment would also be offered to those who have already been vaccinated.
“The government has guaranteed Australia will have more than enough vaccines to reach the 80% target by December 1,” Albanese said in a statement.
“The faster this is achieved, the faster the recovery as we emerge from the blockades that bleed hundreds of millions of dollars a day from the nation’s finances. “
“The government has failed in its two tasks this year, vaccine deployment and quarantine,” Albanese continued. “He must use all measures at his disposal to protect Australians and our economy.”
The government has aimed to reduce vaccination coverage by 70% for blockages and to completely eliminate vaccination coverage at 80% for blockages.
The government’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, has publicly expressed his support for the incentives to vaccinate more of the population. In May, Professor Kelly said: “… we really need to look for incentives, as many incentives as possible for people to get vaccinated. ”
However, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham believes the Albanese idea is unnecessary and would fail.
“We are seeing daily records set in the number of Australians who show up and get vaccinated,” Birmingham said.
“It’s a bit insulting to the millions of Australians who are already doing the right thing, planning to do the right thing and who know very well why they are [should] getting vaccinated is to protect their health and that of their fellow Australians. “
Albanese’s cash incentive scheme is expected to boost the economy by up to $ 6 billion.
However, the australian reported that the federal government is settling on “freedom incentives” on cash payments.
The Australian Government’s Behavioral Economics team recently published research which showed that financial incentives are “unlikely to boost vaccine uptake in Australia.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month acknowledged that some people were reluctant to get vaccinated against AstraZeneca after official advice recommended that the Pfizer vaccine was best for those under the age of 60.
Since then, the Australian Vaccination Technical Advisory Group has reiterated its opinion that the benefits of receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Greater Sydney outweigh any risk of rare side effects for all age groups.
The financial incentive strategy to vaccinate more people is not original.
Last week, US President Joe Biden called on state and local authorities to offer Americans US $ 100 in cash payments to encourage them to get vaccinated.
This was the last attempt by his administration to try to get people vaccinated as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread. Some states in the United States, including Ohio and Colorado, have even run lotteries worth millions of dollars and handed out college scholarships to students to encourage people to get vaccinated.