Food delivery and taxi-hailing companies are to offer discounted rides and meals for customers who get a Covid-19 jab to help boost vaccine uptake, the government has announced.
Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the brands who will be offering incentives to encourage younger people to get vaccinated.
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 Uber rides and meals on its Uber Eats platform for young adults who receive a vaccine. Uber has previously offered free trips to vaccination centres for NHS staff.
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 and a spokesperson said: “At Deliveroo 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 through the NHS, social media competitions and promotional offers for restaurants”.
The department added: “Companies will not ask for or hold any health data for the incentive scheme.”
Government data up to July 30 shows that of the 84,938,000 Covid-19 jabs given in the UK, 46,811,298 were first doses and 38,126,702 were second doses.
The DHSC said around 67 per cent of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose.
Thanking businesses for “stepping up” to support the vaccine drive, Health Secretary Sajid Javid urged people to “take advantage of the discounts”.
He added: “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.”
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.”
The latest initiatives were announced after a host of pop-up vaccine centres opened across England this weekend.
Locations include Circus Extreme in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Burnley FC’s Turf Moor ground, Goodwood Racecourse near Chichester, and the Summer of Love Festival in west London’s Holland Park.
In the east of the capital, a four-day vaccine festival is running in Poplar until Monday, with live music and free food.
The DHSC said more than 600,000 people were vaccinated last weekend at walk-in clinics ranging from London’s Tate Modern Gallery to a Primark in Bristol.