New Providence, The Bahamas – Now two years after the debut of Covid 19 across the globe, local officials say they are pleased with the downward trend in numbers now being recorded across the country. That trend was aided in part by the increase in the number of Bahamians who have chosen to take ‘the jab’ in the face of new variants like the highly contagious Omicron a concerning fourth wave. More than 300 thousand vaccination doses have been administered since the introduction of vaccines locally. Of that number, more than 150 thousand Bahamians across the country are now fully vaccinated. 

Despite the uptick in vaccination numbers, however, vaccination hesitancy has remained an issue among segments of the local community. In response to those challenges, corporate citizens like Bahamas Waste have stepped up to allay fears and raise awareness through a campaign designed to incentivize the jab for its employees. Since November the company’s in-house ‘Get Vaxxed Raffle’ rewarded team members with cold hard cash for taking the jab.

“We’re very pleased that so many Bahamians are coming on board to get vaccinated but there’s no denying that that kind of decision can be difficult and even frightening for some,” noted Bahamas Waste General Manager, Francisco de Cardenas. “Thanks to our initiative we’re pleased to say that up to 70% of our staff are among the ranks of the fully vaccinated.”

Over the last three months, Bahamas Waste employees were given three chances to win cash prizes and more for opting to take any of the available vaccines throughout the country.  Starting in November those taking the vaccinations were able to enter to win five hundred dollars, with chances to win another five hundred in December and a final thousand dollars in January. 

On Monday, under the auspices of the Health Minister the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, the final of the three drawings was awarded to Evan McPhee, a Bahamas Waste staff mechanic, during a special drawing held at Bahamas Waste’s Gladstone Road Headquarters. 

 “I didn’t win anything in the first and second rounds but I was confident in my chances to win the big prize,” said McPhee who walked away with 1000 dollars in cold hard cash. “Vaccination is the right choice,” he said, it’s better for our health and better for the people around us.”

In addition to cash prizes, vaccinated employees were also awarded consolation prizes such as gas and food vouchers valued at over $800. The Health Minister, who assisted in making the final drawing applauded the work of Bahamas Waste and its commitment to creating a healthy and covid free environment.

“We know that vaccinations save lives. We are very proud of Bahamas Waste for answering the call, working closely with the vaccination committee, and demonstrating that vaccinations are the way to go.”