The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A Facebook post claims seniors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will get supermarket coupons worth HK$200.
- Two relevant screenshots were submitted by the public for fact check. One claims the senior citizens lined up for COVID-19 vaccination in order to get the supermarket coupons, while the other claims the seniors aged above 65 can collect ParknShop coupons in social welfare organ. Though sharing some keywords, they actually refer to two different events.
- The first screenshot is about the “(Sinovac) COVID-19 vaccination incentive scheme” between Sept. 23 and Sept. 25, 2021. Senior citizens aged over 60, who reside in Kwai Tsing district and have received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine, can get supermarket coupons HK$200 by presenting their Hong Kong ID card and proof of address. Yet, this scheme has already ended.
- The second screenshot shows a debunking message clarifying the rumor that ParknShop will distribute coupons via 11 social welfare organizations in October 2021. ParknShop did distribute coupons via 20 social welfare organizations in 2020. However, the 2020 campaign is not related to COVID-19 vaccination and no coupon was distributed in 2021.
- The claim “The senior who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will get a HK$200 supermarket coupon” missed out key limitations of the campaign, such as time, area, type of vaccine, and age. If a Kwai Tsing district resident who is aged over 60 joined the vaccination incentive scheme and received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine between Sept. 23 and Sept. 25, 2021, he/she could receive the coupon. In absence of the abovementioned key information, the claim could mislead people to believe all seniors in Hong Kong can receive supermarket coupons if they get the COVID-19 vaccine from now on.
- Our ruling: Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
Two relevant screenshots, submitted by the public for fact check, claim that the senior citizens aged above 60 can get supermarket coupons worth HK$200 if they are inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine. In the first screenshot, a Facebook post claims the senior queued up for COVID-19 vaccination to get HK$200 supermarket coupons offered by the government as a perk. The post had received 6 comments and 12 likes or reactions, according to the screenshot. However, a keyword search on Facebook cannot find the original post.
In the second screenshot, a debunking message published Sept. 22, 2021, by TOPick, clarifies a rumor that the senior citizens aged over 65 can get a HK$200 ParknShop coupon from 11 social welfare organizations on Oct. 1, 2021. However, eight of the organizations clarified the news as fake. ParknShop also claimed they have never organized such an event. TOPick is an online news website affiliated with the daily financial newspaper Hong Kong Economic Times.
Keywords search regarding the first screenshot found a news article published Sept. 21, 2021, by HK01. The article claims that the government introduced a vaccination incentive scheme—senior Kwai Tsing district residents aged over 60 can get a HK$200 supermarket coupon if inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The coupons are distributed on a first come first served basis, and the qualified persons must present their ID cards and proof of address to receive the coupon. The outreach service will only provide Sinovac vaccine, according to the news article.
This scheme is also covered in a news article published Sept. 24, 2021, and a Facebook post published Sept. 21, 2021. They claim the campaign was jointly run by four organizations— Kwai Tsing Development of Volunteer Group, Kwai Tsing Safe Community and Health City Association, Hong Kong Industrial and Commercial Association Kwai Tsing Branch, Federation of Industries and Commerce in Kwai Chung & Tsing Yi. The post adds that all seniors must take their Hong Kong ID card and proof of address of Kwai Tsing district and can get free rides back and forth on that day. All seniors who receive the first vaccine dose on that day can receive HK$200 supermarket coupons. According to the above information, the scheme is confined to Kwai Tsing district’s senior residents rather than all senior Hong Kong residents. The organizers are also different from those mentioned in the second screenshot.
A keyword search regarding the second screenshot found that ParknShop did distribute coupons worth a total of HK$40 million to the socially vulnerable groups via 20 social welfare organizations in October 2020, according to news articles published by RTHK and Oriental Daily News. However, ParknShop did not organize such a campaign in 2021. The above information corresponds to that in the TOPick debunking message.
In summary, the two screenshots refer to two different events. The first screenshot is about a vaccine perk of supermarket coupons offered in September 2021 only for Kwai Tsing district senior residents, not all Hong Kong senior residents. The second screenshot is a debunking message clarifying that ParknShop coupons were distributed in 2020, not in 2021, and the event has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccination. They do not refer to the same event.
Though there was a campaign offering HK$200 supermarket coupons to vaccinated senior citizens in Hong Kong recently, it is only for those who are aged over 60, reside in Kwai Tsing district, joined the incentive scheme between Sept. 23 and Sept. 25, 2021 and received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine. The claim omitted key limitations such as time, area, type of vaccine, etc., which may mislead people to believe all senior citizens in Hong Kong who have received the COVID-19 vaccine could get supermarket coupons from now on.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- TOPick, “Misinformation: social welfare organizations clarify the rumor that those aged over 65 can get a HK$200 ParknShop coupon in October (【誤傳消息】網傳65歲長者10月可領200元百佳禮券 社福機構澄清為誤傳消息),” 22, 2021.
- HK 01, “The government’s vaccination incentive scheme: giving out HK$200 supermarket coupons to vaccinated seniors aged over 60 (政府新招谷針 葵青區年滿60歲長者打第一針可獲200元超市禮券),” 21, 2021.
- Mingpao, “Recently vaccinated seniors can get supermarket coupons, while seniors who were vaccinated earlier consider it unfair (新接種長者獲超市券 早打針老翁批不公平),” Sept. 24, 2021.
- Facebook post, Sept. 21, 2021.
- Radio Television Hong Kong, “ParknShop gives out HK$200 coupons to people in need, benefiting over 20,000 people (百佳向有需要人士發放每人二百元食物券 逾廿萬人受惠),” Sept. 22, 2020.
- On.cc, “Contribution to the Community Scheme: ParknShop gives out food coupons worth 40 million HKD; Wellcome donates 1 million cash coupons (回饋方案出爐 百佳派4000萬元食物券 惠康捐100萬張現金券),” Sept. 22, 2020.