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Indonesian village gives away live chickens to lure residents to get Covid-19 vaccinated

A rural village in Indonesia is giving away live chickens as an incentive for older residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The program, in Cianjur regency, West Java, is part of the district’s effort to increase the number of vaccines administered to citizens age 45 and over.

Galih Apria, assistant police commissioner in the sub-district of Pecat, said older residents had been very hesitant about getting the shots during the early rollout of the government’s vaccination program.




“Early on, there was a lot of misinformation and hoaxes about the vaccine circulating online, especially on social media,” Galih said.

“Lots of elderly people thought that it does not prevent Covid-19 but would cause serious diseases and even death.”

Police launched the free chicken program last month in collaboration with the sub-district government and local health centers.



Before the program was initiated, only 25 in 200 residents were willing to get the vaccine, Galih said but “now, we have 250 people per day who are willing to get vaccinated.”

He added that giving out chickens was a sign of affection and respect toward the elderly, and it made older people more at ease with police officers, health officials, and with the vaccine itself.

Galih said authorities have given away 500 free chickens as a result of the program but they have also taken other steps to push for broader vaccination.

Medical staff and army personnel are helping police distribute the vaccine, and “do medical checkups so that people can get the vaccine on the spot,” said Galih.