Some of the country’s top food and travel businesses have joined the national effort to get as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19.
Uber, Bolt, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among the household names who will be offering discounts and incentives to customers who get a COVID-19 vaccine and help protect the country from the virus, as we continue the cautious return to normality.
Uber, for example, will be sending reminders to all users in August, encouraging them to get the vaccine, and will be offering discounted Uber rides and meals on Uber Eats for young adults who get the jab. This follows earlier Uber campaigns offering free trips to vaccination centres earlier this year and for NHS staff during the height of the pandemic.
Bolt will be offering free ride credit to vaccination centres. A similar scheme by Bolt included offering £250,000 in free ride credit to London vaccination facilities earlier this year.
Other incentives being discussed 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 is set to release further details on these partnerships in due course.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“I’m delighted that more than two thirds of young people in England have already had a first dose of a vaccine, helping to build a wall of defence around our country.
“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.”
Companies will not ask for, or hold any health data for the incentive scheme.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said:
“As cities open up, we all need to proceed with caution and ensure that all adults are vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We’re proud to be working with the government on this important campaign to encourage everyone to get their jab.”
A Deliveroo spokesperson said:
“At Deliveroo we want to do our small part to support the NHS during the pandemic, including delivering 1 million free meals to frontline NHS staff and vaccine centres. This is the next step in helping get people vaccinated and safely back to normal.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“It is great to see the strong enthusiasm among young people so far to get their vaccines.
“Getting both doses of the jab is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and avoid unknowingly passing the virus on to someone who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Thank you to the businesses who have backed this mission – please get your jabs as soon as you can and grab a bargain.”
A total of 84.7m doses have been administered in the UK, with 46.7m people receiving a first dose (88.4%) and 37.9m people receiving both doses (71.8%). Around 67% of people aged 18-29 in England have already received a first dose of a vaccine.
The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that around 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 52,600 hospitalisations have been prevented by vaccines up to 23 July.
Data from PHE shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. The analysis shows the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.