MEDICAL SCIENTISTS ACROSS China have launched a creative win-win-win scheme which is finally getting older generation hold-outs to take the Covid vaccine. Health officials are buying insurance for oldsters, who get up to 500,000 rmb from insurance companies if the vaccine harms them.
Traditionally, elderly people in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other places in Asia, tend to take a nihilistic attitude as they age, preferring not to actively prevent death. However, Chinese scientists now realize that Covid-19 is a relatively mild disease for younger people but a much more deadly one for old people–and they are the ones most in need of the jab. How to fix this dichotomy?
Here’s how the new scheme works:
- The authorities pay the fees for the insurance coverage, so there’s no downside for the old folk, only upside, with potential big payments in view. Oldies win.
- Insurance companies know that adverse reactions to the vaccine are statistically very rare, so they get hardly any actual claims on which they have to pay out. Insurers win.
- The authorities end up with high vaccination rates at low cost. So health officials win.
The scheme is being rolled out in cities all over the country. More than 60,000 old people in Beijing have already signed the papers and had the jab.
Oddly, a Financial Times report says that China’s stronger controls on the media has “created a vacuum in which unsubstantiated rumours about alleged links between vaccines and serious diseases” have spread widely. However, the paper gives no figures for this.
All other sources says that China’s strong moderation of social and traditional media means that there are actually far less “conspiracy theory” and “anti-vax” materials in circulation in the country than in other nations around the world.
Image at the top from YogurtYogurt/ Unsplash