Manulife Financial is adding the vaccination as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking programme. Picture: Reuters
Manulife Financial is adding the vaccination as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking programme. Picture: Reuters

Covid-19 vaccine skeptics lured with gift cards and hotel discounts

By Bloomberg Time of article published Mar 23, 2021

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

Manulife Financial is adding the vaccination as a way to win points in its Vitality health-tracking programme, 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 Amazon.com gift cards, Hotels.com 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 programme, 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 programme through its John Hancock Vitality programme in the US.

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