Fast food and taxi perks to lure young Britons to get Covid jabbed
Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in London. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
CHEAP taxi rides and discounts from the biggest food takeaway companies will be offered soon to unvaccinated young Britons in an attempt by prime minister Boris Johnson to boost the relatively low Covid-19 vaccine take-up among 18-30s.
Talks are on with Uber, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims for offering incentives as part of the ‘Jab 18-30’ drive, reports said.
So far, only two-thirds of people in the 18-30 bracket in England have received a first dose since they became eligible in June, compared with 88.4 per cent across all age groups, implying more than three million 18-to-30-year-olds remain un-jabbed.
As per the plan under discussion, Uber will send reminders to users to get the jab, along with discounts on rides and Uber Eats meals for young adults who get vaccinated. Rival ride app Bolt will offer free credit for trips to vaccination centres.
Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims will also offer discounts and incentives to customers who protect themselves from Covid-19, reports said.
Other incentives being discussed by ministers also include vouchers and discount codes for people attending pop-up vaccine sites and booking through the NHS, social media competitions and promotional offers for restaurants.
Johnson is said to have been “raging” about low take-up of the free jabs by younger age groups, whose vaccination rates have lagged well behind older people.
Welcoming the move, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “Thank you to all the businesses who are stepping up to support this important vaccine drive. Once available, please go out and take advantage of the discounts.
“The lifesaving vaccines not only protect you, your loved ones and your community, but they are helping to bring us back together by allowing you to get back to doing the things you’ve missed,” he said.
The news comes as Johnson reported to have backed away from making full vaccination a condition for allowing students to live and be taught on their university campuses, after a stark briefing from university lawyers, outlining a series of legal obstacles to the plan.
While plans are reportedly in place to enforce vaccine passport in other settings, the government is aimed to use ‘Jab 18-30’ drive to boost vaccination rates over the summer to head off another Covid wave as offices, schools and universities reopen.
Latest data shows that more than 600,000 people were vaccinated last weekend at pop-up walk-in clinics, from London’s Tate Modern Gallery to a Primark in Bristol. Further sites are made available this week – including at Thorpe Park in Surrey and Circus Extreme in Yorkshire.