E-scooter operator Neuron announced that they will offer 10,000 $10 vouchers to people wanting to scooter to their Covid-19 vaccination appointments. They’re encouraging everyone eligible to take them up on the offer, including over-60s.
Beginning from July 30, people who have the Neuron app will be able to redeem a $10 voucher for a return trip to their Covid-19 vaccination appointment at the vaccination centre, hospital or their GP. The primary vaccination centre in Dunedin right now is located at the ground floor of the Meridian Mall.
Zachary Wang, CEO of Singapore-based Neuron, said that “the COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing challenge for governments around the world, including here in New Zealand. We know that increasing vaccination rates is an integral step to stopping the spread and reducing the health, social and economic impacts of the virus in our community. Through this initiative, we want to provide greater access to safe transport options for every New Zealander who is eligible to get vaccinated.”
When asked about how Neuron would verify that the voucher was being used to get to a vaccination appointment (instead of, for example, a trip down George Street in order to pick up some industrial cream-whipping equipment), a Neuron spokesperson said that people wanting to claim their $10 will “need to fill out a short questionnaire which includes the location of your appointment.” Which sounds impossible to falsify.
With almost all border workers vaccinated, as well as 75% of healthcare workers and people living in high-risk places, the current focus of the Government’s vaccination programme is on high-risk people and individuals over 60 years old. These are the only people eligible to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccination right now, and are therefore the only people allowed to be taking a joyride on Neuron’s dime.
Asked about whether this promotion was aimed at seeing Pops and Nan cruising down to the Meridian on their e-scooters (or perhaps doing a little pas de deux on one scooter), the spokesperson simply said that: “Currently we are encouraging all people who are eligible to be vaccinated to make the most of this offer. This includes people over the age of 60 as well as high-risk public healthcare workers, carers, and at-risk people and groups.”