Melco employees may win one million cash prize for taking COVID vaccine shots in company’s bid to build community immunity

Casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment is planning to give each employee who has taken the Covid-19 vaccine shot MOP1000 in cash plus two days’ paid leave, and up to six vaccinated employees may each win one million patacas in cash in a lucky draw if the vaccination rate at Melco reaches the set target.

The MOP16 million incentive scheme, which was announced last Friday, is aimed at pushing more Melco employees to get themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus. The firm is also planning to invite medical experts from the Health Bureau to give a talk on the benefits of the vaccine.

Macau now has abundant supplies of Covid-19 vaccines but the rate of vaccination among the local population is far below government expectations. As of 23 May, a total of 93,566 people have received the shots; the figure is less than one sixth of the total population.

Melco Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Ho, said in a statement that the company would fully support the government’s vaccination program in a bid to achieve herd immunity in Macau and would use incentives to encourage more company employees to get vaccinated.

Some Melco employees interviewed by Allin media said they would take the shots in light of the incentives, adding that getting vaccinated was the inevitable trend anyway. But some employees said they remained hesitant due to the risks associated with the vaccines.

Meanwhile the Macau government has launched outreach vaccination services at local casinos in order to boost vaccination rates. Health workers will go to MGM casino on 24 and 25 May, and Sands Casino on 31 May and 3 June, to provide vaccination services.