Incentives for getting vaccinated

DMK MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin has started a novel method in the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency

As vaccine hesitancy is a matter of concern, DMK MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin has started offering incentives to residents of his Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency to get them inoculated. So far, around 90,000 residents have been vaccinated in the facilities in his constituency.

“This includes people from other constituencies as well, who participated in the vaccination drive to get the incentives,” Mr. Udhayanidhi told The Hindu on Sunday.

When the second lockdown was implemented, he started distributing a bag of essentials to families in his constituency. He has distributed a total of one lakh bags containing rice, edible oil, wheat flour, rava and condiments. “I started distributing an additional bag to those who came forward to get vaccinated, and this [incentive] continues,” he said.

Two vaccination camps — one in Chepauk and another in Triplicane — are being organised on a regular basis, and he personally visits houses, requesting people to take part in the camps.

“There is a hesitancy among sections of people and I started offering incentives. The bag contains face masks, hand sanitisers, multi-vitamin tablets, ingredients for kabasura kudineer and essentials such as rice and other provisions,” he said.

The number of participants came down last Sunday when he could not provide incentives. “Then I decided to source the incentives to encourage people to take part in the vaccination camps. Now, around 1,500 people get the jabs every day. But hesitancy is still there among the poor. They argue that they have developed immunity because of their lifestyle and surroundings,” he said.

During his tour in the constituency, he also saw to it that those who needed immediate assistance were given it right away. On Friday, he took Sarojini, a victim of filariasis, in his car to his constituency office and presented her a sewing machine.

“It happened in a matter of two hours,” said Ms. Sarojni, a resident of Chintadripet.

“I also distribute iron boxes. I give bicycles to students who donate to the Chief Minister’s relief fund,” he added.

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