Companies introducing vaccination incentives

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Tallink ferry.

Several Estonian companies are offering incentives for people who decide to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in the near future. Entrepreneurs hope that mass vaccinations will help avoid putting life on hold again this fall.

People have been able to get vaccinated at the market, while the Proto Discovery Factory is offering free vaccinations on Friday and Saturday. The idea came from the center, with the Ministry of Social Affairs helping to find the necessary medical staff.

"I think it is not just the state's business. I believe it is everyone's business. Restrictions and closures affect us all, meaning that we must work together instead of only looking to the state," said Ott Sarapuu, head of the Proto Discovery Factory.

The center will gift every person who gets vaccinated a family ticket worth several dozen euros, which it estimates will cost the company €10,000. Sarapuu said that the sum is trifling compared to the damage another coronavirus lockdown would cause.

Around 1,000 people have been immunized on board Tallink ferries. The company is now giving every vaccinated person a mini cruise gift certificate over the coming weeks.

"We are doing it to keep the borders open, to keep the nasty virus away from us and life in Estonia open. That's all there is to it. We just want to avoid another lockdown come fall," said Katri Link, head of communications for Tallink.

Even though the mini cruise does not include going ashore in Finland, Link believes a short cruise will be a good motivator during a time when safe travel options are limited.

Companies not threatened by third wave closures are also pitching in. Supermarket chain Selver has put up 1,000 gift certificates to be distributed in Lasnamäe and Ida-Viru County.

"Everything that can motivate people to get vaccinated is welcome. We have tried both the carrot and the stick. And while the latter has been in the focus recently, why not try a more positive mentality," said Eero Merilind, chairman of the Estonian Health Foundation.

The foundation will be raffling two iPhones in August between people who have decided to get vaccinated. Merilind hopes that other companies will join the initiative, which would allow it to give away more cell phones come August.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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