Discovery has announced that all Vitality members aged 18 or older will be awarded 2,500 Vitality points for being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in 2021.
The group said that these points would be awarded retrospectively in October for those already vaccinated. Members typically earn 1,000 points for getting a flu vaccine and other medical check-ups.
“If members have already been vaccinated, there is nothing more they need to do – points will be automatically allocated before the end of the year,” said Discovery Vitality chief executive Dinesh Govender.
Govender said that the allocation of Vitality points, used to incentivise members towards positive behaviour change, is in line with Discovery’s business model.
“Vitality creates shared value by combining behavioural economics, clinical science, and incentives to encourage and reward members for taking steps to improve their health.”
“There is overwhelming proof that vaccination is the single most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and others against Covid-19. The pandemic has been deadly, and a fourth wave is likely, yet the ability to suppress it remains within our control.”
Citing actuarial projections, Govender said over 30,000 lives could be saved if South Africa could vaccinate the majority of its population over the coming months.
“The data reflects the power of vaccination to save lives and reduce our healthcare burden: vaccination reduces infection and transmission risk by 50 to 80%, reduces hospitalisation risk by 60 to 90%, and reduces the risk of death by over 90%,” he said.
“In fact, while your (unvaccinated) risk of death from Covid-19 is 8 to 10 times higher than death from flu, once vaccinated, your risk of death from Covid-19 is lower than from flu.
“Given that vaccination is our best hope of beating the pandemic and restoring our national vitality and way of life, we need to encourage vaccination at scale.”
Members will receive communications with further details in October, Govender said.