UNITED KINGDOM: In an attempt to urge the people of the U.K. to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the United Kingdom is providing shopping vouchers, pizza discounts and free taxi rides, under a so-called “vouchers for vaccines” scheme, the country’s Department of Health said in a statement on Sunday.
So far, companies teaming up with the U.K. government include Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims. Other incentives could include “vouchers or discount codes for people attending pop-up vaccine sites and booking through the NHS (National Health Service), social media competitions and promotional offers for restaurants,” the department added.
“By making getting your jab as easy as grabbing a pizza, hopefully, we can help our teams and our customers get both their first and second doses as easily and quickly as possible,” said Thom Elliot, Pizza Pilgrims Founder.
Ride-hailing app firm Uber will be sending reminders to all users in August encouraging them to get the Covid-19 jab.
The details of how the vouchers for vaccines scheme will work are still being finalised but people could be able to prove they have been jabbed by submitting a “selfie” photograph of themselves at a vaccine centre, according to the U.K. media reports.
Uber and Bolt have given these incentives to the people getting inoculated in the past, but the measures are resurfacing due to signs of youth vaccination uptake still catching up to older generations.
People under 30 were granted access to their first vaccine dose in June 2021. Around 67% of 18 to 29-year-olds in England have since had a single dose of vaccination, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
A total of 84.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in the U.K., with 88.4% receiving a first dose and 71.8% receiving both doses.
In England, home of one of the world’s highest vaccination rates and earlier one of the world’s heaviest coronavirus death tolls, Prime Minister Boris Johnson loosened nearly all Covid-19 restrictions on July 19. At the same time, the government said that people attending nightclubs and other crowded venues in England would need to be fully vaccinated from the end of September.
The government has also launched several pop-up vaccination centres across the country, to encourage walk-ins.
Earlier this week, to convince reluctant citizens of Europe to roll up their sleeves, officials offered up a range of carrots to entice people to get their vaccine shots.