Gong Cha’s boba promo leaves bad taste among anti-vaxxers

At left, Gong Cha’s drink promotion and a user’s comment boycotting the brand, at right. Images: Gong Cha/Facebook, Wake Up Singapore/Facebook
At left, Gong Cha’s drink promotion and a user’s comment boycotting the brand, at right. Images: Gong Cha/Facebook, Wake Up Singapore/Facebook

A bubble tea chain is promoting more boba to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving a bad taste among anti-vaxxers. 

Some of them have been calling out the Gong Cha tea franchise from Taiwan on Telegram and Facebook for offering their signature drink Green Tea with White Pearl at half price to those who have gotten both doses of the vaccine. Anti-vaxxers think this is a matter of discrimination and are calling for a boycott. 

“Being vaccinated has its privileges. We all make our choices in life. Lets boycott Gong Cha. They choose to discriminate unvaccinated individuals. #BoycottGongCha,” a Telegram user wrote yesterday in a channel discussing alleged injuries caused by vaccines.

On Facebook, user Jimmy Beany said no to brands who discriminate. Several people took his side and accused Gong Cha of putting up a “very distasteful promo stunt.”

“Don’t think I want to support a discriminatory drinks company. Thank goodness you are not located anywhere near me,” Jimmy Beany said last week. 

The drinks promotion began Tuesday and will run until Aug. 18, when the latest tightened coronavirus restrictions were expected to end. Singaporeans have been told to gather in pairs instead of groups of five and avoid dining out. 

“Have y’all gotten vaccinated? If you haven’t been vaccinated, what are you waiting for? Get yours now and enjoy 50% off one of our signature drink! Let’s do our part to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and protect our community! #IgotMyShotSG,” Gong Cha wrote in its ad. 

But popular bubble tea company isn’t the only one that has been encouraging more to get vaccinated through perks. Hard Rock Cafe, Flash Coffee, and Shake Shack have also been giving out freebies and discounts to those who have gotten their jabs. 

Nearly half of Singapore’s roughly five million population are fully vaccinated – just a tad under the 75% goal the government is planning to hit by National Day on Aug. 9. 

Singapore yesterday reported 125 new COVID-19 cases mainly linked to the latest outbreak center Jurong Fishery Port. This brings Singapore’s total tally to 64,179 cases and 37 deaths.

Ed note: A previous reference to a channel spreading misinformation about the health consequences of vaccination has been removed.

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