Vaccine Skeptics Lured To Shots With Gift Cards, Hotel Discounts
A health worker administers the Covishield vaccine at a hospital in New Delhi. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Vaccine Skeptics Lured To Shots With Gift Cards, Hotel Discounts


In the global effort to encourage skeptics to get vaccinated against Covid-19, one insurer hopes gift cards and cheaper hotel stays may help tip the balance.

Manulife Financial Corp. is adding the vaccination as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking program, which rewards health- and life-insurance policyholders for things such as exercising, getting health screenings or taking nutrition classes online. Those points can be redeemed for rewards including Inc. gift cards, lodging discounts and less-expensive gym memberships.

Canadians who upload a proof of vaccination will receive 400 points, comparable to what they’d earn from 40 light workouts, said Manulife Canada Chief Executive Officer Mike Doughty. Adding vaccinations to the Manulife Vitality rewards program, which has more than a million members, is a way for the company to encourage people to get the shots without putting too much pressure on them, he said.

“When you think about the importance of vaccination in terms of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill, or worse, from Covid, it makes great sense for us to include it in the program,” Doughty said in an interview. “It doesn’t force anyone to make a decision, but it certainly encourages and rewards them for making that decision.”

The company is rolling out a similar program through its John Hancock Vitality program in the U.S.

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