BERTRAND GUAY / AFP
CORONAVIRUS – A car in Moscow, $ 100,000 in Canada, a spliff in Seattle … and a weekend in Argenteuil. To encourage people to be vaccinated against covid-19 and thus get closer to a return to normal life, without health measures or prohibitions of any kind, “lotteries” are being set up all over the world.
The principle is simple: from the moment you receive the serum (on certain dates or if you belong to certain categories of the population for example), you have a chance to be drawn and receive a lot. .
A concept already very developed in some countries and which is starting to appear in France. The city of Argenteuil, in Val-d’Oise, for example launched “Destination vaccination”, a lottery of this type designed to attract and convince 18-25 year olds. If they receive a first dose in July, these young people may be able to get a holiday weekend, but also cinema or concert tickets.
Initiatives validated by the government
Likewise, in Nîmes, 18-25 year olds in the agglomeration have until July 18 to present proof of their first injection, and possibly win gift certificates or bus subscriptions. An initiative that the local elected officials of the metropolis of Nîmes justify by the need to “involve young people in a collective process” before a deconfined summer during which the fear of the strong diffusion of the Delta variant threatens a little more every day.
Two examples that are far from displeasing the authorities, who keep hammering, like Olivier Véran this Friday, July 2, that mass vaccination is the only solution guaranteeing a lasting way out of the crisis.
Within the government, therefore, we do not look down on these initiatives. “There is no concrete reflection underway, but it can be interesting, if it remains within the framework of the law. We must not only go through coercion to mobilize the non-vaccinated ”, breathes the HuffPost a relative of Jean Castex. “If one day we say to ourselves that it is relevant to launch this kind of thing at the national level, within the framework of the law and ethics, why not. Other countries are doing it ”, we still support in the entourage of the Prime Minister.
And it is the same story with the Ministry of Health and the entourage of Olivier Véran, where we are told that “any initiative aimed at encouraging vaccination is welcome, insofar as it is is exercised in the field of legality ”. Clearly, the communities that would like to initiate this type of proposal seem to have the government’s blank check.
Except that these lotteries are far from arousing such enthusiasm among everyone in the political sphere. On Wednesday June 30, the former LREM deputy (and now attached to EELV in the National Assembly) of Val-d’Oise, Fiona Lazaar, denounced on Twitter the lottery set up by the city of Argenteuil, located on his constituency.
“Health is neither a game, nor a consumer good”, writes the elected official in her message, which she specifies to the HuffPost. “I find these lotteries deeply shocking. It is a question of public health, it should in no way become a gift, otherwise we are entering a pattern where we use vaccination and the issue of access to health ”, she laments.
And to draw an eloquent parallel, a few days after regional elections marked by historic abstention. “What does it mean? That to fight against abstention, we will save weekends if people travel to vote? ”
“Health and vaccination are very serious subjects, we do not play with that”, continues Fiona Lazaar. “Even though we need to reassure people about vaccination, that people are wondering about side effects, I think it would be better to explain rather than push people to try to win prizes. There it is counterproductive. ” Saying “circumspect”, the member is even worried that the communities concerned and those who encourage them “put their finger in a very dangerous gear”.
Alternatives are possible
However, the elected official concedes that cities and towns are free to offer such lotteries. “Communities have a form of freedom of administration, and I think that these initiatives should a minima be in concert with the ARS (regional health agencies, editor’s note). ” In this case, the ARS of Île-de-France informed the HuffPost that in Argenteuil, if the lottery comes from a spontaneous approach, the mayor has warned both his services and the prefecture.
But for MP Fiona Lazaar, other avenues should however take precedence over these lotteries when it comes to encouraging the population to receive the vaccine. She prefers in particular the approach of the Ile-de-France ARS which explained to her earlier in the week that she was “ready to make trips to reach certain audiences, in nursing homes, in homes, where people have to. trouble getting vaccinated. That is much more interesting! ”
In the same vein, the elected representative of Val-d’Oise evokes the possibility for communities to “take over communication campaigns”, like what the Paca region did for example with popular posters. . “With their social networks, their newsletters, the possibility of relying on associations in the field, they can encourage vaccination.” However, with the support of the government, lotteries could multiply in the days and weeks to come, especially if the plateau that seems to have reached vaccination with the general public is confirmed.
See also on the HuffPost: Covid-19: Abroad, we no longer know what to invent to encourage people to be vaccinated