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Ukraine Offers Cash Incentive To Get COVID-19 Vaccination

Only 28 percent of Ukrainians are fully vaccinated.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that people will be offered a cash incentive to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Everyone who has had two doses will be able to receive 1,000 hryvnias," or around $37, Zelenskiy said in a video message on November 15.

The cash payments are a significant sum for the citizens of one of Europe's poorest countries, where the per capita income is around $3,700.

"With these funds, you can buy a season ticket to a gym or fitness club, visit a cinema, theater, museum, concert hall or exhibition center, or buy tickets for travel within the country," Zelenskiy said.

The government plans to allocate around $225 million for the scheme which will be launched on December 19.

Ukraine is currently experiencing its worst wave of the pandemic, prompting authorities to impose a raft of restrictions in several cities, including the capital Kyiv.

Health officials attribute the spike in cases and deaths to low vaccination rates, with just 28 percent of the population having received two vaccine doses.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ukraine has recorded 3.2 million cases and more than 77,000 deaths.