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Osaka Pref. to give away $130,000 worth of prizes to boost vaccinations among young

A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is seen in Fukuoka on April 15, 2021. (Mainichi/Tomohisa Yazu)

OSAKA -- The Osaka Prefectural Government launched an incentive program on Oct. 5 to give away a total of more than 15 million yen (about $130,000) worth of prizes in a lottery in a bid to boost coronavirus vaccinations among young people in their 20s and 30s in the prefecture.

    Conditions to apply for the initiative include receiving a second vaccine shot by Nov. 30 and retweeting the prefectural government's official Twitter posts promoting vaccinations. It is expected that more than 1,000 people will win prizes donated by the private sector.

    According to the prefectural government, 57.6% of residents aged 12 or older had received two inoculations as of Oct. 3. However, the vaccination rate among people aged between 12 and 39 stands at 30.6%, so it has become necessary to boost inoculations among the young generation.

    Prizes include a pair of tickets to stay at a luxury inn, 10,000 yen (approximately $90) worth of gift certificates for DIY stores, and 10,000 yen worth of coupons for an undergarment maker. They were donated by 17 companies that agreed with the prefectural government's initiative.

    Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters: "Vaccinations not only prevent severe symptoms in those who have been inoculated but also have the effect to protect others such as the elderly. We'd like to promote vaccinations among the young generation."

    Details about the program, including prizes, are on the prefectural government's website at https://www.pref.osaka.lg.jp/kansensho/vaccine/sesshusokushincp.html (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Masaki Ishikawa, Osaka City News Department)

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