A Covid vaccine bonus would cost companies much less than another lockdown – and they could sack staff who refuse to be inoculated

Nov 23, 2020

The tests are close to completion. The trial data is almost ready. And the paperwork will be filed with the regulators soon. We may be just a few weeks away from the approval of the first vaccine for Covid-19.

A couple of shots to the arm, and we will be out of this crisis. Shops, restaurants and gyms can reopen, and we can all put this whole nightmare behind us.

But hold on.

There is just one flaw in that rosiest of all possible scenarios: a lot of people don’t want to take the vaccine. And if not enough people take it, then we can’t reach herd immunity and the virus will remain a constant threat.

Government has a big role to play in persuading us all to sign up to a shot. So do scientists, celebrities and anyone with a public voice. Most of all, however, businesses need to take on the anti-vaxxers.

Like how? Offer time off, and workplace vaccination centres; offer a bonus for getting injected; fire anyone who refuses, and who can’t come back to work; and refuse to serve the unvaccinated.

Surveys suggest 30pc to 40pc of people don’t want to take a shot. Anti-vaxxer propaganda is spreading all the time, creating fear and nervousness. But unless a critical number of people take it, the vaccine won’t solve the crisis.

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