Hong Kong developers are offering a $1.4 million apartment as a prize for residents who have been vaccinated for Covid-19, as local authorities grapple with widespread reluctance to get inoculated.
Sino Group’s philanthropic arm Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation and Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. are offering a brand-new apartment in their Grand Central project in the Kwun Tong area, the companies said in a statement Friday.
Hong Kong residents who have received two vaccine doses are eligible for the draw to win the 449 square-foot (42 square-meter) unit. Sino Group is the parent of Hong Kong-listed developer Sino Land Co.
The latest move comes after the government said it was studying options including donations for unused vaccine doses, some of which are set to expire as soon as August. Authorities have said that the surplus could hurt future procurement of shots.
Hong Kong’s government has been working to encourage residents to get their shots by providing policy incentives like reopening bars and shortening quarantines. Still, Chief Executive Carrie Lam this week rejected the call for any cash or in-kind incentives to boost the local inoculation rate amid high demand for vaccinations around the world.
Despite being one of the few places in the world to make vaccines available to all adults, only 12.6% of the population of 7.5 million has been fully inoculated, according to Bloomberg’s covid-19 vaccine tracker far behind neighboring financial hub Singapore at 28.3%.
A free apartment is bound to be attractive in Hong Kong, which has the world’s most expensive property prices. Private residential values climbed to a 21-month high in April, government figures show.