Cheap meals and discounted taxi rides: Firms to offer jab-linked incentives to help boost vaccine uptake

UK

Discounted meals and cheaper cab rides will be offered to customers who get a COVID-19 jab, as part of a government-led attempt to boost the uptake of vaccines.

Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands that will offer incentives to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Almost three million under-30s are yet to receive a first COVID vaccine dose.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said taxi app firm Uber will be sending reminders to all users in August encouraging them to get jabbed.

The company will offer discounted journeys for young adults who receive a vaccine, as well as cheaper meals on its food delivery platform, Uber Eats.

Bolt, another ride-hailing app, will offer “free ride credit” to vaccination centres following a similar scheme earlier this year when it offered £250,000 worth of free rides to London vaccination facilities.

Deliveroo will give vouchers to young people who get jabbed.

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Deliveroo riders are to be rewarded with cash payouts of up to £10,000 on the day of the listing. Pic: AP
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Deliveroo will also be offering discounts. Pic: AP

A spokesman said: “We want to do our small part to support the NHS during the pandemic, including delivering a million free meals to frontline NHS staff and vaccine centres. This is the next step in helping people get vaccinated and safely back to normal.”

The DHSC said further details on partnerships will be released “in due course” and other incentives “could include vouchers or discount codes for people attending pop-up vaccine sites and booking though the NHS, social media competitions and promotional offers for restaurants”.

The government added: “Companies will not ask for or hold any health data for the incentive scheme.”

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Southgate urges young people to get jab

A Bolt (formerly known as Taxify) sign is seen on the taxi car in Riga, Latvia April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
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Bolt will be offering ‘free ride credit’ to vaccination centres

Up to 30 July, 46,811,298 people in the UK have had a first coronavirus vaccine, with 38,126,702 double jabbed.

This means about 88.5% of adults had at least one jab, and 72.1% had two.

Currently, around 67% of 18 to 29-year-olds have had at least a single injection, according to the DHSC.

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid thanked the businesses involved in vouchers scheme for “stepping up”.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said there was “strong enthusiasm” among young people so far to get vaccinated, adding: “Please get your jabs as soon as you can and grab a bargain.”

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