Could more offers like Qantas’ speed up the Australian vaccine rollout?

Is the promise of Qantas incentives enough to get vaccination numbers soaring?

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It’s a trend that’s taken the United States by storm. CBS News reports Americans who’ve had a COVID-19 jab can be eligible to get free beer, museum entries, and even Super Bowl tickets. Could freebies help encourage Australians to get involved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?

In a first for Australia, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) might soon be offering travel vouchers and frequent flyer points to Australians vaccinated against COVID-19.

Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly appears to agree with the airline’s move. He told a press conference last week that using discounts, merchandise or cash lotteries to motivate Australian’s to get a COVID-19 jab were all “potentially on the table”. He said:

I think we really do need to look for incentives, as many incentives as we can, for people to become vaccinated.

With 16% of Australians surveyed in April for The Essential Report saying they will never get the jab, could businesses offering freebies spur more confidence in COVID-19 vaccines?

Let’s take a look.

Qantas’ offerings

According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Qantas’ chief customer officer Stephanie Tully has said the airline is considering offering rewards to encourage more Australians to get vaccinated.

Qantas hasn’t yet confirmed if it will offer rewards for vaccinated Aussies, but Tully was quoted by the AFR as saying Australia’s vaccine rollout is “the key to keeping our domestic borders open and safely restarting international travel”.

“As a large company that relies on travel to put our people and planes back to work, we’re obviously motivated to help with the national vaccine effort,” she said.

According to the AFR, Qantas is considering offering frequent flyer points, flight vouchers, and other perks as a reward for travellers who have completed their course of COVID-19 jabs.

Normalcy as motivation

Right now, it seems the motivating factor for most Australians to get vaccinated is the chance to return to normality.

Talks of another lockdown in Victoria recently saw a record number of Australian residents getting vaccinated. Last Wednesday 111,388 jabs were given out.

Perhaps the chance to travel internationally – potentially as early as the end of this year – could spur more people to roll up their sleeves.

Previously, Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce has said it’s possible the airline will only let vaccinated Australians fly internationally once borders open.

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) CEO Geoff Culbert also believes boosting the vaccine rollout is the best way to restart international travel. In March he said:

The faster we get the country vaccinated, the earlier we can talk about opening the border. It’s as simple as that.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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