coronavirus vaccine rollout continues, more incentives are being offered to young people to encourage them to get the jab.
Businesses such as Asda, Lastminute.com, and National Express have signed up to offer discounts to young people who have had the jab.
Previously, Uber, Bolt, and Deliveroo said they would offer discounted rides and food for customers who would get the Covid-19 jab.
Now, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that Asda will offer £10 vouchers for its clothing brand, George, to 18 to 30-year-olds who spend more than £20 after receiving the jab. These vouchers will be offered at the vaccine pop-up clinics located in Old Kent Road in London, Watford and Birmingham.
Travel company Lastminute.com will offer over 18s who have been vaccinated the chance to get a £30 gift card for a holiday abroad. The gift cards will be available to all young people getting vaccinated via their website.
Meanwhile Better leisure centres will offer a £10 voucher to over 16s who book a vaccination to use on any Better membership. You’ll also get a free, three-day pass at any of its 235 leisure facilities across the UK.
The taxi app Free Now is offering up to £1 million in free rides for anyone over 18 who attends their vaccine appointment each way from Sunday until the end of September.
And National Express buses in the Midlands will offer 1,000 people five-day unlimited travel saver tickets, which can be used within 90 days. Tickets can be claimed by sharing a vaccine booking reference in the company’s app.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is fantastic to see more companies backing the phenomenal vaccine rollout and joining the public as they do everything they can to continue protecting their loved ones, themselves, their community, and this country.”
But will these incentives actually boost vaccine take-up among young people?
HuffPost UK previously asked 18 to 30-year-olds how they feel about incentives being used to entice them into getting the vaccine.
Abi Howe, a 20-year-old student from Kent, called the incentives a “childish and immature approach”. “Hesitancy from young people is higher than the general population and that isn’t going to be eased by bribery, which suggests [the reason is] young people just aren’t bothered,” she said.
“I think young people have sacrificed a lot and this hasn’t been recognised. Instead, they’ve been blamed for a rise in cases and now criticised for vaccine caution without proper information which might ease their worries.”
Deborah Ajulo, a 24-year-old sustainability coordinator from London, was also skeptical. “It feels like there is another agenda,” she said. “This to me is not desperation, but it feels like they are trying to exclude people to peer-pressure them into getting the vaccine.”
But Ada Enechi, a 27-year-old producer from east London, was happy to bag her free meal after a first dose of the vaccine, which up until now she’d not got round to booking. In fact, she got jabbed and fed in the same place: a festival-like tent that has been set up near her house.