Health department extends R100 vaccination incentive to 50-year-olds

The uptake of the R100 Vooma Vouchers has been poor, with only 8,135 redeemed to date.
The uptake of the R100 Vooma Vouchers has been poor, with only 8,135 redeemed to date.
Image: SEBABATSO MOSAMO

The health department has extended the incentive offer of R100 grocery vouchers for first dose vaccinations to people in their 50s as of this Thursday.

Previously, these “Vooma Vouchers” were only available to people aged 60 and above, to make it easier for older people to get vaccinated by offsetting some of the costs they incur getting to the vaccination sites. 

“Unfortunately, the uptake of Vooma Vouchers has been poor, with only 8,135 redeemed to date. We have also not seen a significant uptick in vaccinations among over-60s.

“We are trying to understand the reasons for this slow uptake. We are only two weeks in and it may be that the message takes time to filter down to everyone. But we don’t have the luxury of time with the fourth wave approaching and must adapt our strategy quickly if it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect.

“The voucher is intended to assist people to access the vaccine, which has far greater value than the voucher itself.

“For older people, in particular, vaccination may determine whether families spend their festive season visiting relatives in hospital or even attending funerals,” said Dr David Harrison, health department national lead for demand acceleration.

Three in five people aged 50 years and older have had at least one dose of vaccination and reaching most of the remainder will substantially reduce the number of hospitalisations and deaths over the festive period and into the new year. 

The department announced that, during November, R100 Vooma Vouchers redeemable at the Shoprite group of food retailers would be offered to people aged 60 and older. 

There are still more than 4-million people aged 50 and older who have not been vaccinated, and it is hoped that extending this offer will enable a substantial proportion of them to come forward, said department.

TimesLIVE


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